Veni awards 2010
DeviantArt: Mapping the Alternative Art World
Dr A.A. (Alkim Amila) Akdag Salah (f) 28-8-1975, KNAW - Art History
The aim of this study is to analyse the DeviantArt social network. DeviantArt is an on-line network used by more than 11 million people in which home-made art is exchanged, discussed and can be purchased. The network is an extremely democratic platform for the appreciation of art, and significantly more independent of political or institutional preferences, for example, than the conventional art world. This research will examine how DeviantArt relates to the traditional art world and various other on-line communities, and how DeviantArt users relate to each other.
Women spies in the seventeenth century
Dr N.N.W. (Nadine) Akkerman (f) 22-8-1978, Leiden University - English Literature
The spy's shadowy world should be populated only by males. By examining how and where secret information was gathered and disseminated, this research will reveal spy networks and unmask the female spy for the first time.
Nanoparticles as therapeutic vaccines against cancer
Dr M. (Maryam) Amidi (f) 5-5-1974, Utrecht University
Worldwide, cancer is a major cause of death. Conventional treatments have serious side effects and are usually not able to heal patients fully. The goal of this project is to develop nanoparticles as therapeutic vaccines, so that the body is able to recognise and combat tumours.
Land privatisation and women's well-being
Dr C.S. (Caroline) Archambault (f) 10-6-1977, Ontario (Canada), Anthropology
The privatisation of pastoral rangelands in southern Kenya has stirred up considerable debate among scholars, policy makers and Masai. But the voices and perspectives of Masai women in such debates are remarkably absent. This research explores women's positions on privatisation and the impact that tenure reform has on their well-being.
Journalism and the tensions of neoliberal democracy
Dr I. (Isabel) Cherit Awad (f) 04-08-1973, Santiago (Chile), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Media and Communication
Chile is a society of contradictions. One of the most stable democracies and successful economies in Latin America, it is also an increasingly depoliticised and socially unequal society. This project deals with the understudied role of journalism in these contradictions.
(Un) healthy Ambiguity
Dr A. (Aurélien) Baillon (m) 05-22-1980, L'Arbresle (France), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Economics
When new diseases appear (like swine flu), we lack a precise idea of the related risks. Being more careful might seem reasonable, but may lead to overreactions. This project aims to develop methods to adapt policies to unknown risks.
Black Hole arises in gravitational physics
Dr N. (Nabamita) Banerjee (f) 29-10-1979, Utrecht University - Institute for Theoretical Physics
Black holes occur when gravity becomes strong. Their unusual thermal properties will be investigated theoretically and those properties will also be used to obtain results on other types of physical phenomena that occur in liquids.
Heritage policy in Latin poetry from the Renaissance
Dr S.T.M. (Susanna) Beer (f) 5-2-1977, Leiden University - Greek and Latin Languages and Culture
The cultural and literary heritage of ancient Rome was studied with great enthusiasm during the Renaissance. This study looks at how Latin poetry of this period brought the Roman past back to life in various places in Europe.
The regulation of photosynthesis
Dr R. (Rudi) Berera (m) 04-28-1976, Sondrio (Italy), VU University Amsterdam - Biophysics
While light is the lifeblood of photosynthesis, too much light is deadly. To cope with excessive light, photosynthetic organisms have developed explicit strategies. With this research we wish to discover the molecular mechanisms at the base of this protection.
Populist media - populist audience?
Dr H.G. (Hajo) Orchards (m) 02-18-1977, Aurich (Germany), University of Amsterdam - Communication Science
Populism seems ever more important in politics, but what is the role of the media? This study looks at whether and how news media place messages during election campaigns in a populist manner, and determines the effects of this on political preferences and voting behaviour.
Reconciliation of private rights and public interests in investment
Dr E. (Eric) de Brabandere (m) 08-04-1978, Ukkel (Belgium), Leiden University - International Public Law
International investment disputes deal with the public interests of the state and its citizens, but are settled by tribunals that approach these disputes with the principles of commercial and private law - which leads to conflict. The researcher analyses how the commercial and public aspects can be reconciled with each other.
Prediction of failing protein drugs
Dr V. (Vera) Brinks (f) 11-9-1980, Utrecht University - Biopharmacology and Pharmaceutical Technology
Protein drugs are used to treat diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. However, over time, protein drugs can stop working. This research will develop a test that can predict the patients in whom this will happen.
Plasmas for wound healing
Dr P.J. (Peter) Bruggeman (m) 25-5-1982, Eindhoven University of Technology - Applied Physics
Infection and slow wound healing are growing health care problems, all the more with the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. In this study, the controllability and safety aspects of plasmas (ionised gases) for wound healing will be studied.
Catalysts for sustainable products from biomass
Dr P.C.A. (Pieter) Bruijnincx (m) 9-4-1979, Roosendaal, Utrecht University - Inorganic Chemistry & Catalysis
Non-edible biomass, e.g. plant waste, could become the green resource for the sustainable production of fuels and chemicals. To achieve this, new conversion methods must be found. This research will attempt to develop catalysts for this.
Overestimation in education
Dr A.B.H. (Anique) Brown (f) 17-6-1977, Maastricht, Maastricht University - Educational Research & Education
From primary school to university, students significantly overestimate their academic performance. Overestimation leads to inefficient study behaviour and ultimately to low grades. This research examines how performance assessments can be improved without students reflecting verbally on their learning performance.
Dr A.C. (Antoine) Buyse (m) 06-16-1977, The Hague, Utrecht University
Freedom of expression is a great thing. But what's to be done about expressions that contribute directly to conflict and violence? This study examines the precise limits of the human right to free speech by using theories of conflict escalation.
Self-regulation of brain activity
Dr T.W. (Tjeerd) Boonstra (m) 8-6-1978, Wageningen, VU University Amsterdam - Faculty of Kinesiology
Countless neurons are coordinated in our brains, similar to musicians in an orchestra. Unlike an orchestra, brains have no conductor. This research examines how neurons work together to allow our bodies to move in a controlled manner.
Individual behaviour with respect to extreme climate change
Dr W.J.W. (Wouter) Botzen (m) 2-21-1983, Grave, VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies
This study examines how individuals deal with those uncertain risks of climate change that are characterised by a low probability of severe consequences. Experiments and questionnaires will be used to examine how insurance can provide incentives to take measures that limit damage from natural disasters.
Mutual trust in European migration law: the role of the judge
Dr. E.R. (Evelyn) Brouwer (f) 10-21-1966, Eindhoven, Utrecht University - Constitutional and Administrative Law
In migration law, many decisions are made based on mutual trust among the EU Member States. The question here is whether the individual's fundamental rights are adequately protected. This study will examine the role of national judges.
Following vaccines in the body
Dr M.G. (Myrra) Carstens (f) 30-1-1978, Leiden/Amsterdam Centre for Drug Research
After being administered, vaccines follow a route through the body before they reach their destination. The exact course of this influences their effectiveness. This research will map this journey, which will allow the development of new vaccines.
Mobility without regret
Dr C.G. (Caspar) Chorus (m) 26-5-1977, The Hague, Delft University of Technology- Transport and Logistics
Prevention of regret after the fact is often an important driver in decision-making. This study translates this human tendency toward regret minimisation into an econometric model of (mobility) choice behaviour. This will be used to make predictions about traffic flows and the accessibility of cities.
Better health through the Internet
Dr R. (Rik) Crutzen (m) 10-8-1982, Heerlen, Maastricht University - Health Promotion
Health information and services are increasingly offered on-line, but are only sparsely used. When used, it is important that people perceive this as positive. This study examines how this user experience can be optimised so that use and, thereby, health improve.
Hyperbolic beauty in action
Dr S.R. (Sander) Dahmen (m) 1-12-1979, Amersfoort, Utrecht University - Mathematics
The circle limits in Escher's drawings sketch a beautiful picture of the hyperbolic plane. Such hyperbolic spaces also exist in higher dimensions. This project examines how this fascinating geometry can be used to find integer solutions to equations.
HELLP! How does it work?
Dr M. (Marie) van Dijk (f) 28-9-1980, Delft, VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre - Clinical Chemistry
The HELLP syndrome occurs in approximately 1 in 200 pregnant women and is partially genetically determined. This project examines how the inherited molecule works during pregnancy. With this, a laboratory test will be developed to recognise HELLP early.
Influencing processes among young people in the area of risky
Dr J.K. (Jan Kornelis) Dijkstra (m) 9-27-1976, Metslawier, University of Groningen - Sociology
During adolescence, young people are often involved in risky behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and delinquency. Influencing by peers plays a crucial role in this. But how do the processes of influencing work? Who influences whom and why? This study seeks to find answers to these questions.
Surinamese Indians party for regional cohesion
Dr R.S. (Renzo) Dune (m) 23-4-1974, Haarlem, Leiden University - Archaeology
Archaeologists and anthropologists often consider Surinamese Indians' villages as autonomous units. As a result, the historical and regional processes of non-complex societies' social cohesion remain insufficiently studied. This research examines the role of festivities in regional cohesion.
Deconstructing the super-organism
Dr B.E. (Bass) Dutilh (m) 2-5-1976, Utrecht, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Informatics / Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences
In the wild, microorganisms live in symbiosis as a super-organism consisting of many species that depend on one another for their survival. Using computer analysis, the researcher will unravel the basis for this dependency by identifying complementary metabolic pathways.
Antibodies initiate immune responses
Dr J. (Jerome) den Dunnen (m) 6-5-1980, Papendrecht, University of Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre - Cell Biology and Histology
Antibodies that our bodies make elicit specific immune responses, but are also important in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. This study will unravel the underlying mechanisms, in order eventually to improve vaccines and to find new rheumatoid and lupus medicines.
How like charges attract?
Dr W.G. (Wouter) Ellenbroek (m) 21-2-1979, Eindhoven University of Technology - Theory of Polymers and Soft Matter & Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
Particles with similar electrical charges generally repel each other, but in a saline solution, they can indeed attract each other electrically. In this manner, charged polymers can form all kinds of patterns under the influence of calcium ions. The researcher will unravel this surprising phenomenon using computer simulations and modelling.
Improving the accuracy of failure prediction
Dr A.M.H. (Alaa) Elwany (m) 7-25-1980, Alexandria (Egypt), Eindhoven University of Technology - Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences
Unexpected failures of functioning systems result in huge economic and environmental losses. The researchers will model system degradation captured using sensor technology, and develop system prognostic methodologies to accurately predict failure time and improve maintenance and service logistics.
The nanoscientists' view of the universe
Dr A. (Akira) Endo (m) 7-23-1981, Osaka (Japan), Delft University of Technology - Kavli Institute of Nanoscience
Nanoscientists and astronomers work together to unravel the history of star formation. The team will develop and use a large network of superconducting far-infrared detectors to peer ten billion years into the past.
Increased security and quality of software
Dr J. (Jorge) Endrullis (m) 5-3-1981, Leipzig (Germany), VU University Amsterdam - Theoretical Computer Science
With their programs, computer systems big and small are increasingly finding their way into our daily lives. This project develops methods for automatically proving programs' correctness to ensure their safety and improve their quality.
Learning to speak
Dr H. (Hartmut) Fitz (m) 10-18-1972, University of Groningen - Center for Language and Cognition
Children learn their mother tongue effortlessly based on the speech in their environment. But they hear some words, phrases and sentences more often than others. How children use this information will be investigated using computer simulations.
Like a fish in water
Dr (Maria) Forlenza (f) 11-20-1978, Wageningen University and Research Centre - Cell Biology and Immunology
Fish get sick too. But fortunately, fish, like humans, can also be vaccinated. In this study, using the most advanced (DNA) vaccines, we will research how carp can be protected against two deadly viral diseases.
How do patients use their medicines?
Dr H. (Helga) Gardarsdottir (f) 12-8-1975, Reykjavik (Iceland), University Medical Centre Utrecht - Department of Clinical Pharmacy
To research the safety and efficacy of drugs, it is essential to know how they are used in practice. The project develops new methods for understanding this using pharmacy data, patient data and data from electronic medication packaging.
Making bone from cartilage
Dr D. (Debby) Gawlitta (f) 10-31-1979, University Medical Centre Utrecht - Orthopaedics
For orthopaedic treatment, much bone is needed. This study looks at a new way to make bone from bone marrow stem cells. This happens by making cartilage first, then bone, as occurs in the growth phase.
Behind the scenes of early modern diplomacy
Dr M. (Maarten) van Gelder (f) 12-2-1975, University of Amsterdam - History
In the early modern period, diplomacy partly took place behind the scenes. What was the importance of this informal, often covert, dimension? This study uses reports from the Venetian intelligence service, among other sources, to answer this question.
Why be complicated if it looks easy?
Dr L. (Lasse) Gerrits (m) 14-10-1979, Groningen, Erasmus University Rotterdam - Management Science
Many politicians have the idea that a simple decision, not endlessly debated and weighed, will lead to good results quickly. This project investigates whether that view is correct. Do simple decisions provide better results than complicated decisions?
Pre-Columbian statues in Nicaragua
Dr A. (Alex) Geurds (m) 12-10-1974, Velp (Gld), Leiden University - Archaeology
The researcher recently discovered a pre-Columbian pyramid complex in unknown archaeological territory in central Nicaragua. The ground there is littered with human size basalt statues. Were these gods, rulers or warriors? This research is about how, when and why these statues were made.
Squeezing out more light with silver nanoparticles
Dr R. (Ron) Gill (m) 14-7-1975, Haifa (Israel), University of Twente - Nanobiophysics
Dye molecules can emit 100x more light when positioned between nanoparticles. In this research, silver nanoparticles with controlled size and surface properties will be made to assemble around dye-labelled biomolecules. This could be used for developing better medical diagnostic tests.
Pancreatic cancer: an attack on the heart of the tumour
Dr E. (Elisa) Giovannetti (f) 22-11-1974, Pisa (Italy), VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre - Medical Oncology
Pancreatic cancer carries a particularly poor prognosis because of the presence of highly malignant cells in the heart of the tumour and insensitivity to current drugs. An innovative combination of advanced tumour models and array technologies will provide new targets for effective treatment.
The coral reef, a truly sustainable society
Dr J.M. (Jasper) de Goei (m) 12-8-1977, Leiderdorp, University of Amsterdam - Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
Even Darwin wondered: how can the world's most productive ecosystem, the coral reef, grow and flourish in a desert of water, the tropical ocean? Sponges may play the key role in the recycling of food on the reef.
Buying and eating behaviour in the face of mass product
Dr C. (Caroline) Goukens (f) 20-8-1980, Herentals (Belgium), Maastricht University - Marketing
These days we see a huge increase in the variety of product ranges in the supermarkets. It seems as if there's a customised product for every consumer. This research examines how consumers' choices and eating patterns are influenced by this feeling of abundance.
Platelet inhibitors - do they work equally well for
Dr J.P. (Jacoba) Greving (f) 15-3-1977, Groningen, University Medical Centre Utrecht - Clinical Epidemiology
After a stroke, several types of platelet inhibitors are prescribed to reduce the risk of a second stroke. The researchers will investigate which factors determine which is the most effective platelet inhibitor for an individual patient.
Brave New Worlds
Dr L. (Liesbeth) van de Grift (f) 12-19-1978, Utrecht University - History
Throughout Europe, governments saw internal colonisation - the establishment of "new" land - as a solution to the economic, social and political crises of the Interbellum period. They tried to create a harmonious society in these "experimental spaces." This study examines whether and to what extent these practices differed in democratic and fascist regimes.
Three-dimensional imaging of tumours
Dr M. (Mattijs) de Groot (m) 1-04-1978, VU University Amsterdam - Biomedical Physics
For an effective treatment of colon or lung cancer, for example, it is important that tumours be made visible at an early stage. The researchers will develop a technique using fluorescent endoscopy that will portray small tumours three-dimensionally.
The social brain in adolescence
Dr B. (Berna) Güroglu (f) 23-07-1976, Izmir (Turkey), Leiden University – Developmental psychology
During adolescence, nearly everything revolves around relationships with peers. Adolescence is also a period of significant brain development. This research focuses on the development of the brain areas involved in social interactions with classmates and how this is related to problem behaviour.
Seeing enzymes in action
Ph.D. M.A.S. (Mathias) Hass (m) 24-02-1977, Copenhagen (Denmark), Leiden University – Chemistry
Enzymes are ingenious molecular machines that carry out the chemistry of life. This research project aims to develop a method to observe the motions of enzymes with atomic detail. This will help researchers to understand how enzymes operate.
Decisions in the boardroom
Dr E.M. (Eelke) Heemskerk (m) 11-12-1978, Ermelo, University of Amsterdam
Important decisions are made at the top of organisations. This research examines to what extent managers, in making decisions, consider what their colleagues would do. Appreciation from colleagues is perhaps a more important incentive than the organisation's interests.
Oxidants regulate the genesis of atherosclerosis
Dr K. (Kim) van der Heiden (f), 26-04-1980, Leiden, Erasmus Medical Centre – Biomedical Engineering
The cells lining our blood vessels respond to forces exerted by blood flow by producing oxidants. The researchers will look at how different types of oxidants, produced in different parts of the circulatory system, protect against or elicit atherosclerosis.
The sun in its latter years
Dr S. (Saskia) Hekker (f) 24-04-1978, Heeze, University of Amsterdam – Astronomy
Stars are born and evolve. The sun is an adult star, but will change greatly in a few trillion years and become an old star. The aim of this research project is to determine the internal structure of old stars.
Rapid DNA replicators nabbed
Dr I. (Iddo) Heller (m) 02-10-1979, VU University of Amsterdam - Physics of Complex Systems
Our DNA is copied 100 billion times each day. This happens so quickly that the copying mechanisms are still unknown. The researcher will film individual enzymes at ten thousand frames per second. This will inform us how replication errors, which can lead to disease and ageing, can be prevented.
Understanding sudden changes
Dr M.O. (Markus) Heydenreich (m) 05-08-1976, Berlin (Germany), VU University Amsterdam – Mathematics
When physical systems change state (think, for example, of ice melting), special effects and fractal structures arise at the point of transition. The researcher analyses mathematical models of such transitions with the aim of understanding these structures.
Why don't drugs make it to the market?
Dr L.H. (Laura) Heitman (f) 01-04-1981, Leiden University – Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Many diseases that are difficult to treat cry out for a drug that will remain at a vector point in the body for a long time. This rarely happens. The researchers will study how this residence time can be extended in order to combat disease effectively.
Adding and stirring dissolves it
Dr A.K.H. (Anna) Hirsch (f) 12-01-1982, Trier (Germany), University of Groningen – Bio-organic Chemistry
During the development of drug, several properties must be optimised simultaneously. In this study, a method will be developed that makes potential drugs soluble in water with the aid of excipients. This speeds up the execution of biological testing.
Reactions in water seen with tunnel vision
Dr A. (Arie) van Houselt (m) 10-08-1980, Rotterdam, University of Twente – Catalytic processes and materials
Reactions in water are difficult to study. Water gets in the way of many measurements. Chemists will now study reaction surfaces under water using a sharp conductive needle that can display molecules at a magnification of 10 million times.
How a tick ticks
Dr J. W.R. (Joppe) Hovius (m) 14-10-1976, Hunsel, University of Amsterdam – Infectious diseases
Lyme disease's infectious agent (Borrelia) is transmitted by ticks. This study analyses how the tick suppresses the host's immune response, how Borrelia misuses this to cause infection, and whether an anti-tick vaccine can prevent Lyme disease.
Deciphering Earth’s last climatic cooling event
Dr S.K. (Silja) Hüsing (f) 16-01-1979, Lower Hutt (New Zealand), Utrecht University – Earth Sciences
About 20 million years ago, Africa collided with Eurasia, resulting in the closure of the Mediterranean seaway to the Indian Ocean. This project investigates the impact this event had on the Earth’s ocean currents and its contribution to global cooling.
Adhesion between cells in the blood vessel
Dr S. (Stephan) Huveneers (m) 13-01-1980, Purmerend, Hubrecht Institute
Making new blood vessels is an important process and is involved in inflammatory diseases and cancer. The researcher will look for proteins that regulate adhesion among vascular cells. The role of these proteins will then be visualised with advanced microscopy.
A new view of the diabetic brain
Dr J.F.A. (Jaap) Jansen (m) 04-07-1979, Oirschot, Maastricht University Medical Centre – Radiology
Many diabetic patients have cognitive problems. Why these problems occur is not yet known. In this research, new imaging techniques will be used to detect what goes wrong in the brains of such patients.
Tanzanian entrepreneurship insured
Dr W. (Wendy) Janssens (f) 31-07-1974, Turnhout (Belgium), VU University Amsterdam – Developmental Economics
Microcredit for small entrepreneurs is gaining popularity in developing countries. Because of high medical expenses, the entrepreneurs, often uninsured, get into trouble. This study looks at whether the combination of health insurance and microcredit in Tanzania increases the effectiveness of both programmes.
Overweight? Fat imbalance!
Dr J.W.E. (Johan) Jocken (m) 01-06-1981, Hasselt (Belgium), Maastricht University – Human Biology
Obesity and diabetes are caused by an increased accumulation of fat in our abdominal fat and muscle. The breakdown of these fats (lipolysis) occurs by virtue of an ingenious balance of proteins. The researchers will study whether this balance is disturbed in people who are overweight and have a predisposition to develop diabetes.
Do more with the same DNA!
Dr (Frank) Johannes (m) 01-02-1976, Dresden (Germany), University of Groningen – Groningen Bioinformatics Centre
Populations of plants cannot run away from a changing environment, but are often still quick to adapt. Researchers will demonstrate that plants can do this by temporarily adapting the function instead of the code of their DNA sequence.
What suits us better?
Dr A. (Ank) de Jonge (f) 5/1/1967, Creil, VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre - Midwifery Amsterdam Groningen
Women can choose where they want to give birth. The questions in this study are: what is the influence of the place of birth and of the care provider (midwife or obstetrician) on complications in women? And how do women experience care?
Stop avoiding pain
Dr P.A. (Petra) Karsdorp (f) 20-12-1976, Amsterdam, Maastricht University - Psychology
Fear of pain forces automatic avoidance of painful activities, and promotes healing. Prolonged avoidance, however, can lead to limitations in daily life. It will be investigated whether good control (inhibitory control) of automatic avoidance behaviour can prevent limitations from pain.
Sticking like a gecko
Dr M. (Marleen) Kamperman (f) 02-02-1979, IJsselstein
Geckos, insects and spiders are able to hang upside down from a ceiling and to run up steep walls. The researchers will develop nature-based adhesive systems using polymeric springs.
What is quantum space-time geometry?
Dr I. (Igor) Khavkine (m) 09-06-1981, Moscow (Russia), Utrecht University – Institute for Theoretical Physics
The geometry of space-time gives rise to gravity. Thus, quantum mechanics applied to gravity must modify this geometry (distance, time, causal order). Researchers will quantitatively analyse the observable consequences of such modifications, in the limit of weak gravitational forces.
The knowledge network of organisations
Dr J. (Joris) Knoben (m) 14-09-1981, Huissen, Tilburg University – Organisation Science
Organisations often work together to form networks. This research examines what organisations know about the structure of these networks and their position in it. The causes and consequences of differences in the organisations' knowledge networks will also be studied.
Better disease prediction - what does it yield?
Dr H. (Erik) Koffijberg (m) 10-09-1976, Heinenoord, University Medical Center Utrecht – Julius Centre
Clinical predictive rules provide us with insight into (future) disease in humans. New diagnostic tests may lead in this case to better rules predictive rules. It is unclear whether improved predictions actually lead effectively and efficiently to better health. This project develops tools with which the value of predictive rules can be determined in practice.
The value of energy thrift in buildings
Dr N. (Nils) Kok (m) 11-07-1981, Maastricht University – Department of Finance
Buildings are large consumers of energy. Investments in energy efficiency can change this. This study examines the role of energy use in the purchase and use of buildings. Does it pay to make buildings more energy efficient? And do energy labels promote awareness?
Clouds on exoplanets
Dr R.J. (Remco) de Kok (m) 12-01-1982, Drachten, SRON
Nearly five hundred planets orbiting other stars have been discovered, but we know little about them. The researchers will examine how measurements of these exoplanets are influenced by their clouds, so that we can study their atmospheres better.
The control of asthma
Dr M. (Mirjam) Kool (f) 02-11-1975, Utrecht, Flemish Institute for Biotechnology – Molecular Biomedical Research Department
Asthma is caused by a disrupted immune response to allergens. The researchers have found that manipulation of the immune system can slow down the development of asthma. This project will examine how this inhibition of asthma is caused.
Molecular materials and nanosystems
Dr L.J.A. (Jan Anton) Koster (m) 24-05-1975, Eindhoven University of Technology
Plastic solar cells are a promising new type of solar cell. The further development of these requires a more accurate picture of how they work. This research will examine how the complex and chaotic internal structure affects the efficiency of these solar cells.
Small RNAs protect a failing heart
Dr G. (Guido) Krenning (m) 15-07-1980, Nijmegen, University of Groningen/University Medical Center Groningen – Pathology & Medical Biology
During heart failure a scar is created. Scarring is accompanied by the emergence of cells that produce the scar and changes in the presence of small regulatory RNAs. The researchers will study whether the formation of scar-forming cells can be prevented by modulating these small RNAs.
New governing parties: failure or success?
Dr S.L. (Sarah) de Lange (f) 07-02-1981, Middelburg, University of Amsterdam – Political science
The number of political parties with no government experience entering Western European cabinets has increased drastically in recent decades. Many commentators criticise this trend and claim that these parties generally perform poorly. This project investigates the veracity of this claim.
Aggression in antisocial patients
Dr J. (Jill) Lobbestael (f) 11-06-1980, Bilzen (Belgium), Maastricht University – Clinical Psychological Science
Antisocial patients are often aggressive. The researchers assume that aggression that is controlled or predatory is expressed differently from impulsive aggression. The physical and cognitive changes in both types of aggression will be examined.
Twisted light and helical structures
Dr W. (Wolfgang) Löffler (m) 19-10-1977, Leiden University - Leiden Institute of Physics
Helical structures are very common in nature. Even light can adopt twisted structural forms. Could the application of twisted light lead to better techniques for the observation of helical objects? This project will focus on the experimental study of this area.
The brain's inability to communicate in ADHD
Dr A. (Ali) Mazaheri (m) 06-09-1976, Teheran (Iran), Radboud University Nijmegen – Neurociences
Failure to focus attention is a core symptom of attention-deficit/hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD). Researchers will investigate the proposition that the attention problems in ADHD are not due to problems with specific brain areas, but rather a communication failure between them.
Deliberation in the brain
Dr M.A.A. (Matthijs) van der Meer (m) 31-12-1980, Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam – Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
For important decisions, we consider the consequences of different choices. Brain activity in the hippocampus reflects such consequences during the decision-making process. By measuring and influencing this activity "live," this research will test how these patterns of activity direct the subsequent choice.
Living in a multicultural society
Dr T.W.G. (Tom) van der Meer (m) 06-12-1980, Delft, University of Amsterdam – Political science
Our society is becoming ever more diverse. This research examines the implications of this for social cohesion - the trust among citizens and the links that bind them. Is ethnic diversity (in neighbourhoods and associations) indeed harmful or, rather, is it an incentive?
Web application testing as an automated service
Dr A. (Ali) Mesbah (m) 23-05-1978, Karaj (Iran), Delft University of Technology - Software Technology
The programming of modern web applications is complex and prone to error. This study attempts to find algorithms with which very dynamic web conditions can be analysed and tested automatically. How the test methods can be applied easily by the web developers will also be studied.
Robots make minimally invasive surgery safer
Dr S. (Sarthak) Misra (m) 08-10-1976, University of Twente – MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine
Needles are widely used to perform diagnose and administer drugs. Straight needles often miss their target, however, resulting in complications. This project uses robotic flexible needles to make poorly accessible locations in the body more accessible.
Dr F. (Floortje) Mols (f) 29-04-1981, Tilburg, Tilburg University –
Department of medical psychology and neuropsychology
Negative consequences from colorectal cancer and its treatment may be related to personality. Researchers see if patients with a particular personality experience a lower quality of life, for example; more side effects and more anxious and depressive symptoms than similar patients without that personality.
The causal structure of biological networks
Dr J.M. (Joris) Mooij (m) 11-03-1980, Nijmegen, Radboud University Nijmegen – Institute for Computing and Information Sciences
Biological processes often involve a complex interplay of several molecules. The aim of this research is to develop more efficient mathematical methods for determining the causal structure of such processes (what causes what?), so that fewer experiments are needed for this.
Lifestyle and depression: what is cause and effect?
Dr M.H.M. (Marleen) de Moor (f) 28-03-1979, Uithoorn, VU University Amsterdam – Biological Psychology
Does an unhealthy lifestyle (little exercise, drinking a lot) cause more depression or does depression lead to a less healthy lifestyle? Or is there an underlying predisposition, coupled with personality for example, that influences both depression and an unhealthy lifestyle? In this study, new methods will be developed that can better distinguish cause and effect.
Exploring memory's limits
Dr R.D. (Richard) Morey (m) 26-11-1978, USA, University of Groningen – Psychometrics and Statistics
In everyday life, several things often need to be remembered at once: several faces, numbers, or words. This research project will explore why remembering more things is more difficult than remembering a few.
Large-scale detailed transportation management: coordination of
transport streams at all levels
Dr R.R. (Rudy) Negenborn (m) 13-06-1980, Delft University of Technology – Control engineering / Computer Science
Global flows of goods are becoming ever larger and more complex. At the same time, the transport of goods must become more sustainable and economical. This study allows local transportation hubs to cooperate and negotiate with each other independently and continuously. This results in better coordinated and more efficient transportation management.
Developing drugs with quantum mechanics
Dr V.P. (Paul) Nicu (m) 07-05-1977, Sibiu (Romania), VU University Amsterdam – Theoretical Chemistry
For the development of medicines, an exact interpretation of molecular spectra is essential. This is achieved via accurate quantum mechanical calculations. The purpose of this research is to develop faster and more accurate quantum mechanical algorithms for use in the pharmaceutical industry.
The neuropsychology of 3D space
Dr T.C.W. (Tanja) Nijboer (f) 22-10-1978, Wijk bij Duurstede, Utrecht University – Psychological functional theory
The space around us can be divided into near and distant regions. This research examines whether these regions can become disturbed independently after a stroke. In addition, the study will see whether an affected region can still be influenced by the intact region.
Fourteen billion years of galaxy formation
Dr B.D. (Benjamin) Oppenheimer (m) 11-12-1976, Chicago (United States), Leiden University – Astronomy
Theoretical astronomers simulate entire universes with today’s state-of-the-art supercomputers. This research aims at simulating the formation and evolution of galaxies like our Milky Way to see if they look and act like the galaxies observed with today’s largest telescopes.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions
Dr L.A.D.M. (Liesbeth) van Osch (f) 05-08-1980, Roermond, Maastricht University – Department of Health Promotion
Even though more people want to live healthily, few actually succeed in following a healthy lifestyle. This study tests various types of planning strategies and considers whether making concrete plans leads to an improvement in healthy behaviour.
A better heart begins with the cell
Dr R.J. (Ralph) van Oort (m) 25-04-1977, Zoelen, University of Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre – Heart Failure Research Centre
Muscle cells in a failing heart are so structurally changed that they can barely contract. The researcher wants to use a new technique to counteract this structural change in muscle cells in order to improve heart function.
Embodied cognition and resisting temptation
Dr E.K. (Esther) Papies (f) 05-02-1980, Bielefeld (Germany), Utrecht University – Social psychology
Whenever we see something delicious, we often spontaneously wish to eat it. How does this motivation occur? This project investigates how the spontaneous "reliving" of eating determines our desire, and whether blocking it helps to control eating.
Ancient colonists and colonised
Dr E. (Eleftheria) Pappa, Greece (f) 08-04-1983
The research will investigate contacts between the Near Eastern people who colonised the Western Mediterranean just over 2.5 millennia ago and the local populations, bringing about cultural and technological changes. This concerns where and how these two groups lived, what language they spoke and how they interacted with each other.
Dr M. (Mohanchand) Paladugu (m) 30-08-1979, Delft University of Technology – Applied Physics
Steel, just like biological systems, can repair itself. When nano cracks occur, mobile atoms can fill them with stable clusters, preventing further damage. This project examines how new self-healing steel can be developed.
Slave migrants in the American South
Dr D.A. (Damian) Pargas (m) 28-12-1978, Utrecht University – History
Between 1820 and 1860, a massive wave of forced migration of Afro-American slaves took place in the American South. This research aims to uncover these slave migrants' experiences and assimilation and integration processes.
Men, fatherhood and HIV
Dr F.R. (Fiona) Parrott (f) 21-05-80, London (UK), University of Amsterdam – Medical Anthropology
Conception and HIV transmission both involve unprotected sex. Understanding the relationship between fertility and HIV risk in rural Africa is crucial to fighting HIV. Most research in this area has focussed on women. This research will study men's desire for children and responses to HIV.
Focus on head and neck cancer
Dr M.M. (Maarten) Paulides (m) 01-05-1979, Erasmus Medical Centre Daniel den Hoed – Radiotherapy
Heating enhances the effect of radiation and chemotherapy significantly. We have recently developed equipment for heat treatment of head and neck cancer. In this study, the heating focus is much more precisely aimed at the tumour through a clever combination of measurements and calculations.
Sex hormones in the impulsive brain
Dr J.S. (Jiska) Peper (f), 03-12-1978, Dordrecht, Utrecht University – Experimental Psychology
On occasion, everyone acts on a whim. However, for some people this leads to negative situations such as drug abuse or leaving school. The extent of the influence of sex hormones (key regulators in the brain) on brain connections will be studied as a possible explanation of impulsive behaviour.
Extinction of addiction memory
Dr J.L. (Jamie) Peters (f) 31-08-1978, Culpeper, Virginia (USA), VU University Amsterdam – Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research
The strong association between addictive substances and environmental factors leaves a persistent memory trail in addicts' brains. Researchers are trying to break this association by using experimental drugs that reinforce a different memory that leads to the extinction of addictive behaviour.
Developing artificial trees
Dr E.A. (Evgeny) Pidko (m) 13-11-1982, Moscow (Russia), Eindhoven University of Technology – Inorganic materials chemistry
Carbon dioxide is created by burning fossil fuels and it contributes to global warming. The researcher will develop new catalysts that filter this harmful gas directly from the air and convert it to CO2-neutral liquid transport fuels.
How the heart gets out of rhythm
Dr D.A. (Daniël) Pijnappels (m) 25-04-80, Alblasserdam, Leiden University Medical Center – Heart diseases
Heart rhythm disturbances are common, life threatening and difficult to treat. The researchers will systematically adjust the shape and composition of heart tissue in order to better understand how the heart's rhythm becomes disrupted and how this can be restored.
Indirect interactions among herbivores
Dr E.H. (Erik) Poelman (m) 21-04-1980, Arnhem, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Entomology
Plants mobilise their defences when they are eaten by herbivores. In this way, herbivores influence the colonisation of a plant by other herbivores and thus the community of life on the plant. This research examines whether these interactions affect the plant's propagation.
The Napoleon Complex – fact or fiction
Dr T. V. (Thomas) Pollet (m) 17-11-1981, Wilrijk (Belgium), University of Groningen – Social psychology
Short men have been proposed to be more aggressive and dominant than tall men. This is often called the Napoleon Complex. We investigate if this shortness-aggression link is real or a myth. This research aids our understanding of male aggression.
Sea water desalination: remove the salt first, then the
Dr J.W. (Jan) Post (m) 22-01-1976, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Environmental technology
Desalination of seawater is very energy consuming. The term "desalination" is actually misleading because, with the current technology, sea water is "dehydrated." The water is separated from the salt by evaporation and then the vapour must be re-condensed. With this research, we want to demonstrate that it is more efficient to desalinate first and then to dehydrate.
Thermal correlations in one-dimensional quantum systems
Dr B.S. (Balázs) Pozsgai (m) 06-03-1983, University of Amsterdam - Institute for Theoretical Physics
The researchers will study the interplay of thermal effects and quantum fluctuations in strongly interacting one-dimensional, many-body systems. The methods will include field theoretical approaches and numerical simulations, with the special aim of providing phenomenology for experiments with ultra-cold gases.
Counting on a reliable water supply
Dr A.K.I. (Anne) Remke (f) 24-04-1980, Münster (Germany), University of Twente – Design and Analysis of Communication Systems
Water purification and distribution networks are essential to society. Disturbances to and attacks on these facilities are a threat to the availability of drinking water. The researchers will calculate the reliability of drinking water networks and analyse the effectiveness of repair strategies during disturbances and attacks.
Stable peats in a changing climate
Dr B.J.M. (Bjorn) Robroek (m) 18-09-1978, Heerlen, Utrecht University – Ecology & Biodiversity
Peat bogs capture an enormous amounts of carbon. With dehydration, this can be released as carbon dioxide and amplify climate change. We will investigate whether greater plant diversity contributes to the stability of carbon sequestration in bog ecosystems in a changing climate.
Elucidating the catalytic properties of gold
Dr P.B. (Paramaconi) Rodríguez Pérez (m) 28-12-1979, Caracas (Venezuela), Leiden University – Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Gold is a good catalyst for several technologically important reactions, especially CO oxidation. The researchers will investigate how CO adsorption on gold promotes its own oxidation as well as the oxidation of other organic molecules, and how this depends on the chemical environment.
Gym for cells
Dr J. (Jerome) Rouwkema (m) 7-25-1979, University of Twente - Biomedical Engineering
Cells and tissues respond to mechanical signals (e.g. tensile forces). This project will develops a system with which the effect of these signals in certain cells can be determined and therefore optimised. This can then allow for improvements in growing bone tissue in the laboratory.
Moving from vulnerability to resilience: shaping the bodily and
psychological ability to withstand life adversity
Dr B.P.F. (Bart) Rutten (m) 21-05-1975, Sittard, Maastricht University – Psychiatry and Neuropsychology
Unlike those who have psychological problems after severe setbacks, some people can handle such setbacks without problems. They exhibit mental resilience. The researchers will unravel how these people do it, and what happens in the brain.
Gaining insight in mycetoma grain formation: towards innovative
Dr W.W.J. (Wendy) van de Sande (f) 01-02-1980, Breda, Erasmus Medical Centre – Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Mycetoma is a disfiguring tropical infectious disease, characterised by fungal grains which are difficult to treat. The researchers will explore the genesis of this fungus by looking at which grain proteins are to be found. This will lead ultimately to better therapy for this serious infection.
Triple A: anxiety, alcohol and automatic processes
Dr E. (Elske) Salemink (f) 28-01-1979, Doetinchem, University of Amsterdam – Developmental Psychology
Anxious people drink alcohol to reduce their feelings of anxiety. In addition to rational considerations, automatic tendencies also play a role here. The research will examine the influence of these automatic processes and how these processes can be changed in anxious problem drinkers.
Universal signals of happiness
Dr D.A. (Disa) Sauter (f) 10-08-1979, Stockholm (Sweden), Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Are there happy feelings that are shared by all humans? In this project, facial expressions and vocalisations of positive emotions will be studied across three very different cultural groups to establish whether people can universally understand expressions of happiness.
Quantum cryptography improves daily security
Dr C. Schaffner, Centre for Mathematics and Information Systems – Information Systems
The reliable storage of encoded information in quantum particles (like photons) is an enormous technical challenge. Cryptographic systems whose security is based on precisely this difficulty are attractive alternatives to current systems. This project will improve the theory and technology of these systems.
The collapse of the Russian avant-garde
Dr J.L.J. (Sjeng) Scheijen (m) 20-10-1972, Maastricht, Leiden University – Slavic languages and cultures
The blossoming of the Russian avant-garde (1910-1932) ended abruptly with the rise of Socialist Realism. By looking at artists' unpublished diaries and exchanges of letters, new insights can be gained into the causes and consequences of that decline.
Leukaemic evolution: remote control
Dr H. (Hein) Schepers (m) 26-10-1977, Coevorden, University Medical Centre Groningen – Haematology and Stem cell Biology
Blood cells develop from a small number of progenitor (stem) cells. Specific proteins monitor this ingenious process, but if something goes wrong here, a leukaemia (blood cancer) can occur. The researchers will examine when these proteins exercise control in normal and malignant cells.
Beyond national models of integration?
Dr P.W.A. (Peter) Scholten (m) 17-04-1980, Middelbeers, Erasmus University Rotterdam – Management Science
The integration of migrants is an important issue at the local, national and European level. This study looks at the relationships among the policies at these levels. Can we speak of national integration models or is integration policy much more diverse?
Learning to move in the brain
Dr M. (Martijn) Schonewille (m) 30-09-1978, Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Centre – Neurociences
The cerebellum allows humans to make complex movements. The researcher will study how cells in the cerebellum process information during movements and thus allow such movements.
Reduced energy metabolism as the cause of fatty liver?
Dr V.B. (Vera) Hinder Schrauwen-Ling (f) 15-7-1973, Affoltern (Switzerland), Maastricht University Medical Centre - Radiology and Human Biology
Fatty liver leads to diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. With non-invasive imaging techniques, the researchers will study whether reduced energy metabolism in the liver causes this steatosis. Differences in fat storage after a meal will be examined.
How do we understand conditional sentences?
Dr K.(Katrin) Schulz (f) 24-07-1976, Berlin (Germany), University of Amsterdam – Philosophy
Conditional sentences play an important role in science and in our daily lives. But how do we arrive at the meaning of such a sentence? This project will examine how the meaning of these sentences depends on the words from which the sentence is constructed.
Feeling motion in ant- and robot-legs
Dr T. (Tobias) Seidl (m) 08-10-1975, Regensburg (Germany), Wageningen University and Research Centre – Experimental Zoology
Desert ants monitor the steps they take in order to know how far they walk. This research will analyse the role of leg-based force-sensors in distance estimation using techniques from engineering and artificial intelligence. The results will be applied to legged robots.
Motor learning in motion
Dr L.P.J. (Luc) Selen (m) 03-05-1976, Tegelen, Radboud University Nijmegen – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
You're standing in the bus and it brakes suddenly. You nearly fall. Just in time, you grab the safety rail and keep standing. This study examines the learning of grasping and reaching movements during acceleration of the body and where this occurs in the brain.
Watching galaxies evolve
Dr P. (Paolo) Serra (m) 18-03-1980, Cagliari (Italy), ASTRON
Gas is a fundamental component of galaxies. In this project, gas will be studied for the first time in distant galaxies. The researchers will be able to understand how gas in galaxies evolves during the life of the universe.
Factionalism in civil wars
Dr L.J.M. (Lee) Seymour (m) 15-09-1977, Calgary (Canada), Leiden University – Political Science
Civil wars are bloody, protracted and messy. The research aims to explain why some rebel groups remain united while others break apart into feuding factions, and the consequences this has for how civil wars unfold.
Find the (functional) differences
Dr M.J. (Marieke) Simonis (f) 03-11-1980, Utrecht, Hubrecht Institute – Genome Biology
In a single individual's DNA, there are more than a million small differences. To understand which differences may lead to disease, the researcher will map the molecular effects of DNA variation.
Oxygen in atherosclerosis: tidy up?
Dr J.C. (Judith) Sluimer (f) 22-03-1977, Rotterdam, Maastricht University Medical Centre+ – Pathology
One of the causes of the aggravation of atherosclerosis is improper disposal of dead cells in the vessel wall. The researchers believe that by increasing low oxygen pressure in the vessel wall, the removal of dead cells will be improved, thereby reducing atherosclerosis.
Clostridium difficile dissected
Dr W.K. (Wiep Klaas) Smits (m) 06-04-1979, Dokkum, Leiden University Medical Centre – Medical Microbiology
The bacterium Clostridium difficile causes an increasing number of severe infections of the digestive tract in both humans and animals, in and outside hospitals. In this project the researcher will focus on the molecular basis of the bacteria's pathogenic properties.
Early diagnosis of cancer with a simple optical sensor
Dr L. (Lineke) van der Sneppen (f) 07-01-1981, VU University Amsterdam – Laser Centre
When a malignant form of cancer develops in patients, tumour cells circulate in the blood. The researcher proposes the development of a simple and inexpensive optical sensor for detecting these cancer cells with new light sources and technologies.
Fatal immunity in plants
Dr P.E.J. (Patrick) Smit (m) 15-03-1973, Rheden, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Phytopathology
Plant cells can sacrifice themselves to prevent a plant's infection by pathogens. This suicide is, of course, strictly controlled. The researcher will look for and examine genetic characteristics that are indispensable for this behaviour on the part of the plant cells.
Portraying patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
Dr K.G.E. (Kim) Smolderen (f) 18-10-1980, Turnhout (Belgium), Tilburg University – Medical Psychology
PAD patients experience leg pain due to plaques. Prognosis has been studied in this high-risk cardiovascular population, but not health outcomes for those living with this chronic condition. This international registry will map patients’ outcomes as seen from their perspective.
Love in Africa
Dr R. (Rachel) Spronk (f) 28-01-1973, Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam – Department of Sociology and Anthropology
If you believe what you hear from the media and science, then Africa is a loveless continent. Information and knowledge about sexuality is dominated by violence, AIDS and other nastiness. This study focuses on the development of intimacy between men and women since the colonial period. Based on family histories - three generations of the same family - the development in Nigeria ranging from yesterday's "arranged marriage" to the current practice of the "love marriage" is investigated.
Cell therapy: what happens to these cells inside a patient?
Dr M. (Mangala) Srinivas (f) 15-07-1980, Bangalore (India), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Tumour Immunology
At present, no recognised technique exists to make cells, such as stem cells, visible in the body after injection. We will develop a new customisable imaging technology that makes this possible. This makes better treatment of patients possible with cell therapy.
Dr K. (Kristine) Steenbergh (f) 09-06-1976, Utrecht, VU University Amsterdam – English Literature
What is the effect on a theatre audience of acted emotions? In the English Renaissance, opinions were divided on this. This project explores the varying ideas of the emerging public sphere in the cultural-historical context, and looks at the role of the stage itself in the development of ideas concerning the effect of emotions.
Dr G.J. (Gert-Jan) Steeneveld (m) 25-06-1978, Delft, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Meteorology and Air Quality
Persistent fog is difficult for the transportation and agriculture sectors and for the health of asthmatics. Unfortunately, meteorologists have trouble predicting fog. This project investigates the role of atmospheric turbulence and landscape heterogeneity in the life cycle of fog.
Energy transport in plastics
Dr A.U. (Anna) Stradomska (f) 09-03-1980, Gorlice (Poland), University of Groningen – Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
To help design materials for plastic solar cells, the researchers will investigate what happens with the energy of light after it shines upon plastic. They will model how the energy is transported between the molecules of such material.
Keeping the immune system in balance
Dr M.M. (Machteld) Tiemessen (f) 23-01-1975, Roosendaal, Leiden University Medical Centre – Immuno-Haematology and Blood Transfusion
The immune system protects us from harmful bacteria and viruses. Sometimes the immune system goes haywire - which can result in disease. The researchers will investigate a new way in which the immune system can be monitored, based on stem cell biology.
Do forests amplify heat waves?
Dr A.J. (Ryan) Teuling (m) 21-05-1976, Eindhoven, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Environmental Sciences
Transpiration by vegetation reduces the energy available to warm up the environment. However, differences exist in water use between ecosystems. This project aims to find out how forest transpiration is different from its surroundings, in particular during heat waves.
Ballistic electronics in graphene: clearing the way for electrons in
one-atom thick carbon
Dr N. (Niko) Tombros (m) 02-02-1978, University of Groningen - Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
Graphene is a wafer-thin layer of carbon atoms from graphite arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb pattern one atom thick. The researchers will analyse the electrical properties of the material under mechanical stress and exposure to strong magnetic forces, conditions under which electrons can move freely through the material.
Building an Internet panel via social networks
Dr V. (Vera) Toepoel (f) 03-08-1980, Tilburg, Tilburg University – Leisure studies
Internet panels have become the main way of taking surveys. The researchers will examine how an Internet panel can be built through social networks and they developed and test different methods to obtain reliable answers.
Anticipating unforeseen risks
Dr S.T. (Stefan) Trautmann (m) 29-01-1977, Tilburg University – Economics
Economic behaviour such as savings and investment behaviour depends on the attitude to unforeseen risks related to expected income. The researchers will use new methods to measure to what extent people respond to these future risks, from an economic and psychological perspective.
The social brain
Dr V. (Viviana) Trezza (f) 07-05-1979, Milan (Italy), University Medical Centre Utrecht – Neurociences and Pharmacology
Social interactions are an indispensable part of our behaviour. In most psychiatric diseases, social behaviour is disturbed. The researcher will examine the brain processes through which normal and deviant social behaviour are established.
The eel, a swimming paradox
Dr C. (Christian) Tudorache (m) 15-10-1974, Kronstadt (Romania), Leiden University – Biology
This research aims to unravel the discrepancy between the predicted low and the measured high swimming efficiency of the European eel and to create the parameters for a satellite tag in order to follow the eel to its enigmatic spawning grounds.
The material shift in the humanities
Dr I. (Iris) van der Tuin (f) 22-08-1978, Heerenveen, Utrecht University – Gender studies
Humanities researchers study utterances or the symbolism of art. But these days they increasingly do research on the material side of art and the physical dimension of art experience. This research brings the epistemological consequences of this shift into view.
Faultless production of sex cells
Dr G. (Gerben) Vader (m) 08-06-1977, Utrecht, Erasmus Medical Centre – Cell Biology
The production of sex cells is a complex process involving the active introduction of innumerable fractures in the organism's genome. The researchers will study how cells prevent these fractures from causing irreparable damage to the genome.
How bacteria get in shape
Dr J.W. (Jan-Willem) Veening (m) 26-12-1978, Vries, University of Groningen – Molecular Genetics
Every living cell, whether a bacterium or a human cell, must see to it during its growth that it assumes the right form and replicates at the right moment. This research will determine how Pneumococcus bacteria - causers of lung and ear infections, among other things - coordinate these two essential processes. The researchers anticipate that this work may ultimately contribute to the development of new forms of antibiotics.
Sugars regulate immune responses
Dr S. (Sandra) van Vliet (f) 31-07-1971, Utrecht, VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre – Cell Biology and Immunology
Our own body cells, tumour cells and invading microorganisms each have a different composition of sugars on their surfaces. This research examines how our immune cells determine which category of cells they face based on these sugars.
Balancing with proteins
Dr I.K. (Ilja) Voets (f) 28-05-1980, Leiden, Eindhoven University of Technology – Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS)
A living cell contains thousands of different proteins. They must bind together to work, but not so strongly that the stability of the cell is compromised. This research examines how nature maintains this delicate balance.
The more the better?
Dr R.O. (Rutger) Vogel (m) 14-08-1978, Hardinxveld-Giessendam, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Paediatric Medicine
With metabolic diseases, the system that converts food into energy does not work properly. Understanding how the creation of this system can be stimulated can lead to a therapy. This research focuses on finding new control mechanisms.
Social connectedness: a new dimension of social anxiety
Dr M.J. (Marisol) Voncken (f) 08-06-1976, Huesca (Spain), Maastricht University – Clinical Psychological Science
Feeling social connectedness with others is essential to feeling happy. In patients with social anxiety disorder, disturbances in unconscious social behaviour appear to cause problems with social connectedness. This study examines how social anxiety and the hormone oxytocin control these behaviours.
Why stroke patients fall
Dr V.G.M. Weerdesteyn (f) 10-02-1975, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre- Rehabilitation Medicine
Cholesterol pump in the arterial wall
Dr M. (Marit) Westerterp (f) 02-02-1979, Stirling (UK), University of Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre – Medical Biochemistry
Endothelial cells form the barrier between the blood vessel wall and the bloodstream. They protect against vascular inflammation and promote wound healing. The cholesterol balance is essential for this. We examine how a protein that pumps cholesterol from endothelial cells affects inflammation and wound healing.
The wrong vessels in the heart
Dr J.P.H.M. (Jeroen) van den Wijngaard (m) 16-04-1975, Roosendaal, University of Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre – Biomedical Engineering and Physics
When the heart is hampered in its performance by high blood pressure or an infarction, extra vessels can gr ow. The researchers see how these vessels may protect the heart or indeed become part of its limited functioning in the long run.
Dr G.A. (Guido) van Wingen (m) 24-05-1979, De Bilt, Radboud University Nijmegen – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
In everyday life, we check our emotions regularly. The researchers will study how the brain substance that inhibits cells regulates the brain's emotional centre and whether it contributes to the ease with which a person controls his emotions.
Stem cell genes caught
Dr E. (Elzo) de Wit (m) 15-04-1978, Amsterdam, Hubrecht Institute
DNA is full of genetic switches that turn genes on and off by forming loops in the DNA. By unravelling the three-dimensional structure of DNA, the repertoire of genetic switches and the development of stem cell genes will be systematically exposed.
Conflict resolution as the ABC of merchants
Dr J.J. (Justyna) Wubs-Mrozewicz (f) 28-12-1976 (Poznan, Poland), Leiden University – History
Conflict can have disastrous consequences for merchants' trading position and their goods. For this reason, effective conflict resolution is a must in trade relations. This project explores how merchants in Danzig in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries adapted their conflict resolution strategies to changing circumstances.
Language errors: language disorder or bilingualism?
Dr T. (Tuba) Yarbay Duman (f) 02-11-1978, Tarsus (Turkey), University of Amsterdam – Clinical Linguistics
Bilingual children make language mistakes. Some suffer from a language disorder, while others do not. Do bilingual children make mistakes because they are bilingual or because of the language disorder? This project aims to find out how to distinguish between these two.
Images at war: photography, gender and humanitarian aid
Dr M.J. (Marta) Zarzycka (f) 17-08-1976, Utrecht University – Gender Studies
In war coverage, photographs of non-Western women function as universal symbols of human suffering. This project looks at photographs of women from the wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq and examines their use in press and in fundraising appeals.
Tumour growth benign, malignant, predictable!?
Dr K.G. (Kris) van der Zee (m) 21-05-1980, Lelystad, Eindhoven University of Technology – Multiscale Engineering Fluid Dynamics
Cancer occurs when an aggressive tumour evidences growth behaviour. The growth of tumours can be described using different mathematical models. Scientists search for a unification of the models in order to better predict tumour growth.
The eye as a measure of listening effort
Dr A.A. (Adriana) Zekveld (f) 16-04-1981, Amsterdam, VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre – ENT/Audiology
Hearing loss and background noise increase listening effort, thereby increasing the size of the pupils in the eye. The researcher will relate the pupil response to brain activity. In this manner, differences in pupil response among listeners and listening situations can be better interpreted.
Folding of DNA
Dr M.C. (Menno) van Zelm (m) 24-06-1979, Utrecht, Erasmus Medical Centre – Immunology
DNA in the nucleus of a body's cell is the carrier of hereditary information. The long DNA strands are folded such that the right information is accessible to the cell. The study will investigate which proteins are involved in this folding.