Reading speed: like parent like child?
E. (Elsje) van Bergen, MSc (f), University of Amsterdam -> University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology (GB), 24 months
If you read a text together with somebody then you notice if one person reads the text faster than the other. Yet why does that happen? In this study the reading skills, environment and genes of parents and children will be investigated.
Birds of a feather
S. (Sytske) Besemer MSc (f), NSCR/University of Cambridge -> University of California, Berkeley (US), 24 months
Children from criminal parents are more often criminals themselves. Is criminality therefore inherited? Or do the justice system, the home situation and the neighbourhood play a role? The researchers will investigate this by comparing data from four Western countries (the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States).
Chronic liver diseases: the cell-specific approach
Dr V. (Veerle) Bieghs (f), Maastricht University -> RWTH University Hospital of Aachen (DE), 24 months
Chronic liver diseases are an important cause of death in Western society. The condition is usually only noticed at a very late stage and treatment is therefore very difficult. The researchers will use a cell- specific approach to obtain new molecular targets for the treatment of chronic liver diseases.
Self-made stem cells
Dr F.L. (Frank) Bos (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam -> University of California, San Francisco (US), 24 months
Stem cells for blood are first of all produced in an embryo where they develop from blood vessel (endothelial) cells. In many blood diseases the blood cells do not function properly. One way of treating this is to transplant blood stem cells from a donor to the bone marrow of the patient in order to restore normal blood production. With this research we want to determine which genetic programme is used for the production of human blood stem cells from endothelial cells. We want to use this knowledge to encourage endothelial cells to produce an inexhaustible supply of blood stem cells so that individualised stem cell therapy can be developed for patients.
New insights in the production of blood
Dr B.J. (Bart) Crielaard (m), Utrecht University -> Cornell University, Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College (US), 22 months
Problems in the production of blood can result in serious conditions such as chronic anaemia or blood cancer. Researchers will investigate the role of a certain type of blood cell, the macrophage, in this in order to develop new treatments for these diseases.
Exercise and heart infarcts
Dr T.M.H. (Thijs) Eijsvogels (m), Radboud University Nijmegen -> University of Connecticut, Hartford Healthcare Research Institute (US), 24 months
Getting enough physical exercise is important for your health. Yet sportspeople can also suffer a heart infarct. This research will compare the function and structure of blood vessels and the heart in active and inactive study subjects, with and without a heart infarct.
New materials for new generation electronics
Dr J. (Jia) Gao (m), University of Groningen -> Princeton University, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (US), 24 months
Progress in the area of information and communication technologies is dependent on the use of materials and methods from the semiconductor industry. This research will focus on new methods of synthesis and processing of graphene nanoribbons in order to make applications in future electronics possible.
Dutch nature discovered
Dr E. (Esther) van Gelder (f), Leiden University -> Utrecht University, Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities (NL), 24 months
After centuries of research into exotic plants and animals, the Dutch discovered their own surroundings in about 1800. This research will investigate how a scientific entrepreneur placed Dutch nature on the agenda and in so doing sought to advance a communal feeling in a divided country.
Dr A. (Antony) George (m), University of Twente -> Rice University, Ajayan Research Group (US), 24 months
A one-atom-thick sheet of carbon – graphene – is one of the most promising materials ever discovered. The study will focus on ways to pattern and manipulate graphene for realising one-atom-thick devices.
How the child's brain learns arithmetic
Dr D.D. (Dietsje) Jolles (f), Leiden University -> Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (US), 24 months
At primary school children learn fundamental arithmetic skills. However some children struggle with learning arithmetic. This research will examine what happens in the brain when children learn arithmetic. The researchers want to discover if there is a neurobiological cause for problems with learning arithmetic.
New weapons against malaria
Dr W.A. (Wouter) van der Linden (m), Leiden University -> Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology (US), 24 months
Many existing drugs slowly lose their efficacy against malaria. Researchers are therefore developing a technique that will provide a detailed description of a malaria parasite's life cycle. This information will benefit the production of new drugs against malaria.
The fall of a black hole
Dr M. (Maarten) van de Meent (m), Utrecht University -> University of Southampton, General Relativity Group (GB), 24 months
According to Einstein's theory of relativity, black holes rotating around each other emit gravity waves. Detecting these waves requires an accurate prediction of the orbits of the black holes concerned. This study will describe the orbit of a lightweight black hole around a rotating supermassive black hole.
Functioning of soils after drought
Dr A. (Annelein) Meisner (f), Wageningen University -> Lund University, Microbial Ecology Group (SE), 24 months
Microorganisms in the soil are important for the functioning of ecosystems. They provide many services for people such as making nutrients available for the growth of plants. Climate change is leading to altered precipitation patterns, which in turn are changing the moisture levels of soils. Scientists will investigate how these changes can influence the functioning of microorganisms.
Ultrarapid control over magnetic forces with electric fields
J.H. (Johan) Mentink (m), Radboud University -> University of Hamburg, CFEL Max Planck Research Department (DE), 24 months
The strongest forces in magnets originate from the spin-dependent interaction between electrons. The researchers will develop a new theory to investigate how magnetic forces can be controlled using ultrashort electrical pulses.
Seeing live brain cells at work
Dr Y. (Yoav) Noam (m), University of Amsterdam -> University of California-Irvine, Dept. of Anatomy & Neurobiology (US), 24 months
Communication between brain cells requires specialised proteins ('ion channels') that reside on the cell membrane where they conduct electric currents. Abnormal regulation of ion channels may result in brain pathologies such as epilepsy. In the proposed research, innovative microscopy techniques will be employed to directly visualise and analyse how different types of ion channels assemble and behave on the surface of living neurons. This will hopefully reveal the physiological contribution of specific ion channels to brain function in health and disease.
Modelling the benefits of Swarm Planning, a dynamic way of planning for future adaptation to climate change impacts
R.E. (Rob) Roggema (m), Delft University of Technology -> RMIT University, School of Architecture and Design (AU), 24 months
How can we rapidly adapt to unexpected climate changes, if all plans for spatial planning assume a fixed end situation? To solve this problem a planning approach has been developed (swarm planning) in which dynamics play a leading role and external changes guide spatial planning. This research will find evidence to support or refute this Swarm Planning approach, by means of case studies in the Netherlands and Australia.
Live imaging the biology of coronary arteries
Dr J.W.H. (Johan) Verjans (m), Maastricht University -> Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Cardiology/Center for Molecular Imaging Research (US), 12 months
A heart infarct arises due to restrictions in coronary arteries that eventually result in an obstruction. However, the severity of a constriction does not predict whether this will cause a heart infarct. The researchers will use advanced imaging techniques to detect electric characteristics of the most dangerous constrictions.
The wasp waist explained: deficient fat production in parasitic wasps
Dr B. (Bertanne) Visser (f), VU University Amsterdam -> University of Tours, Physical ecology and multitrophic interactions (FR), 24 months
All animal species can store nutrients from food in reserves such as fats. Parasitic wasps are a particularly striking exception to this rule, as they do not put down any fat reserves. This research will unravel how the interaction between the parasitic wasp and its environment lies at the basis of this deficient fat production.
Modelling and analysing multiparty mediation efforts
S. (Siniša) Vuković, MA (m), Leiden University -> School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C. (US) , 24 months
Nearly all international conflicts around the world have been managed by more than one mediator. Unfortunately, contemporary scholarship of international mediation fails to incorporate the proliferation of mediators into its analysis. This research aims to expand the academic knowledge of international mediation by observing various dynamics that are caused by the presence of more than one mediator and to illustrate these dynamics through a game theory model.
Artificial viruses as a new cancer vaccine
M.M.C. (Maartje) Bastings (f) 1984, Eindhoven University of Technology -> Harvard University, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston (US), 24 months
In many autoimmune diseases a person's immune system no longer functions well. Using DNA origami, the researcher wants to develop artificial viruses to specifically study and reprogram the disrupted mechanisms of the immune system. This will enable the development of new vaccines for diseases such as cancer.
A closer look at lymph node cancer
R. (Renée) Beekman MD, MSc (f) 1981, Erasmus University Rotterdam -> IDIBAPS, Department of Oncology and Haematology (Spain), 24 months
Cancer develops as a result of changes to the genetic code stored in our body cells as we age. Changes in how the genetic code is read also play a role in cancer. The researcher will examine these readout changes more closely for lymph node cancer.
Discovering medicines with the help of fish
J.G.M. (Judith) Bergboer, MSc (f) 1983, Radboud University Nijmegen -> Harvard Medical School, Nephrology Division (US), 24 months
Many cells in the human body have antennae to pick up and pass on signals and this includes cells in the olfactory organ. In a number of incurable and very serious diseases called ciliopathies, something goes wrong with these antennae. In this study the olfactory organ of the fish will be used to develop new medicines against these diseases.
Simultaneous progress in coding theory and quantum entanglement
Dr J. (Jop) Briët (m) 1980, CWI/University of Amsterdam -> New York University, Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences, (US), 24 months
Society produces digital data at a tremendous rate. Processing all of this is a daunting challenge. The aim of this project is to analyse how data can be stored and communicated more effectively using state-of-the-art codes and quantum entanglement, the most counterintuitive phenomenon of quantum mechanics. The innovative steps in this research are partly based on novel links to the celebrated work of Alexander Grothendieck, one of last century's most influential mathematicians.
Leaving the hospital in a better state?
Dr B.M. (Bianca) Buurman (f) 1977, University of Amsterdam -> Yale University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Geriatrics (US), 15 months
Many elderly people leave hospital with functional limitations as a result of which they can no longer live independently at home. Why does this happen? And how can elderly people recover again? The researcher will investigate methods to enable elderly people to rehabilitate after a hospital admission.
Where is Chinese Internet law heading to?
Dr R.J.E.H. (Rogier) Creemers (m) 1982, Maastricht University -> University of Oxford, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (GB), 22 months
This study will provide a detailed picture of Chinese Internet law. It will analyse the most important texts and identify the most important actors. It will also investigate how this law is applied in courts and by other bodies.
Analysis of protein-coding loss-of-function variants in complex human traits
Dr J.K. (Karol) Estrada (m) 1979, Erasmus University Rotterdam -> Massachusetts General Hospital (ATGU), Harvard (US), 24 months
DNA sequencing research is discovering millions of DNA variants including loss-of-function variants that can knock out genes. The researcher will make the world's largest database of loss-of-function DNA variants, based on tens of thousands of people, to find the genetic causes of diseases such as osteoporosis.
Blowing in the wind: renewable energy & ethnic minorities in Chinese Inner Mongolia
R. (Richard) Fraser (m) 1981, Leiden University -> University of Cambridge, Mongolia & Inner Asia Studies Unit, Division of Social Anthropology (GB), 23 months
Chinese Inner Mongolia has a long history of mobile pastoralism. In recent years, the region has been transformed into a centre of renewable energy. This research explores the transition and its effects on ethnic minority pastoralists.
Searching for new treatments for epilepsy
Dr N.A. (Natalia) Goriounova (f) 1978, VU University Amsterdam -> Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Marseille (FR), 24 months
Epilepsy develops as a consequence of a disturbed balance between inhibition and excitation in the brain. The researcher will study the receptors in the brain of epileptic mice and epilepsy patients that inhibit excessive excitation. Pharmacological stimulation of these receptors could reduce epilepsy.
Anisotropic polygonal self-propelled particles: towards application in a Lab-on-a-Chip
Dr J. (Joost) de Graaf (m) 1985, Utrecht University -> University of Stuttgart, Institute for Computational Physics – Colloid Physics (DE), 24 months
The shape of microscopic (artificial) self-propelled particles governs their movement through a patterned environment. The researchers will study many shapes to realise a design that can navigate its way through the microchannels of a fluid-based chip.
Full of expectation
Dr P.S. (Pleunie) Hogenkamp (f) 1982, Wageningen University and Research Centre -> University of Uppsala, Department of Neuroscience (SE), 12 months
Expectations about our food are important for our food intake. This study will examine if a mismatch between expected satiation and actual satiation encourages overconsumption and whether the expected satiation value differs between patients who have a healthy weight following a stomach operation and patients who remain obese.
Molecular computers in the brain
A.P.H. (Arthur) de Jong, MSc (m) 1983, VU University Amsterdam–> Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurobiology, (US), 24 months
Communication between nerve cells takes place in specialised contact points called synapses. These synapses process and store information in the brain and are therefore the 'computers' that learn and provide memory. Dysfuntion of synapses can cause various neurological disorders such as autism and depression. By determining the function of proteins and the electrical activity of nerve cells the researcher will study how these molecular machines in the brain work.
Asthma disrupts development of dendritic cell
Dr L. (Lianne) van de Laar (f) 1983, Erasmus University Rotterdam -> University of Ghent (VIB), Internal Diseases (BE), 24 months
Dendritic cells play a leading role in asthma. The researcher will investigate how asthma affects the development of dendritic cells. By individually changing each of the factors released during asthma the researcher will study which factor causes these shifts in development.
Controlling nuclear spins with microwave pulses
G. (Guinevere) Mathies (f) 1981, Leiden University -> Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, US, 24 months
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is now one of the most important methods for mapping complex molecular structures. However it can be made even better still. Microwave pulses can be used to manipulate the state of unpaired electrons in the vicinity of a molecular structure to be studied. In turn these electrons ensure that the spins of the atomic nuclei in the structure come more into line, which makes it easier for the nuclear magnetic resonance to be observed.
A general law describing the diffusion of membrane proteins in vivo based on single molecule tracking of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli
Dr J.T. (Jacek) Mika (m) 1983, University of Groningen -> Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Department of Chemistry Faculty of Science (BE), 24 months
A full understanding of cell processes requires a quantitative description of protein localisation and movement. Researchers will use microscopy to track the motion of single membrane proteins in living bacteria to obtain a general law describing their mobility.
A sign for side root production
Dr B.K. (Barbara) Möller (f) 1979, Wageningen University and Research Centre -> University of Ghent (VIB) (BE), 24 months
The roots of plants make side roots to obtain sufficient nutrients from the soil. The researcher will ascertain how cells in the root are signalled to form a side root. She will also examine how these cells change after the signal has been given.
New light on solar energy storage
Dr M.M. (Matti) van Schooneveld (m) 1984, Utrecht University –> Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Department of Molecular Theory and Spectroscopy (DE), 24 months
In plants, solar energy is stored in chemical compounds by converting water into oxygen, electrons and protons. The researcher will use new X-ray spectroscopy techniques to examine how this happens in order to make a contribution to the development of non-fossil fuels.
Win or lose
Dr S.J.E. (Saskia) Suijkerbuijk (f) 1983, Utrecht University -> University of Cambridge, Gurdon Institute (GB), 24 months
Cells in a tissue continually compare their fitness with that of the surrounding cells. As a result of this the least fit cells are recognised and die. The researcher will examine whether cancer cells use this process to grow better.
Quantum teleportation on a silicon chip
M. (Menno) Veldhorst (m) 1984, University of Twente-> The University of New South Wales, Sydney (AU), 24 months
An essential step in the construction of a quantum computer is the transfer of quantum information. In this research project an effort will be made to realise this step in silicon using the intriguing process of quantum teleportation.
Building tissues from cells and microspheres
H. (Huanan) Wang, MSc (m) 1980, Radboud University Nijmegen -> Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard - Division of Health Sciences and Technology (US), 18 months
Human tissues are composed of micro- or nanosized building blocks. This research project aims to use cells and polymeric cell-binding microspheres as building blocks to self-assemble into 3D artificial tissues that can be used to regenerate a wide variety of tissues.
earching for biomarkers for diabetes using new genetic techniques
Dr A. (Ali) Abbasi (m), University of Groningen -> Addenbrooke's Hospital Cambridge, Institute of Metabolic Science (GB), 24 months
Biomarkers are signals of disruptions to the metabolism. It is important to know if these biomarkers are the cause or the effect of the disruption. Using new genetic techniques this cause and effect issue will be studied in large-scale population studies in England and the Netherlands.
New neighbours, new gene expression
Dr J.G. (Joke) van Bemmel (f), Erasmus University Rotterdam –> Institut Curie, Mammalian Developmental Epigenetics (FR), 24 months
Due to breaks in the DNA, genes can acquire different neighbours. This often happens in cancer cells. Researchers will therefore analyse whether the new neighbours have an effect on the expression of such a gene which has 'moved'.
Women's citizenship in South-East Europe
Dr C. (Chiara) Bonfiglioli (f) Utrecht University -> University of Edinburgh, School of Law (GB), 12 months
South-East Europe has undergone profound social, economic and political changes in the last twenty years. The researcher will investigate how the post-socialist transition transformed women’s lives as workers and citizens in different South-East European states.
Rows of prehistoric burial mound in North-West and Central Europe (third millennium BC)
Dr Q.P.J. (Quentin) Bourgeois (m), Leiden University –> Aarhus University, Dept. of Culture and Society (DK), 12 months
Rows of burial mound are found throughout North-West and Central Europe. These rows of structures that are sometimes kilometres long influence the landscape on a large scale. This project will investigate the dynamics and function of these rows using computer models and simulations.
Enlightened Majorana fermions
Dr J.P. (Jan) Dahlhaus (m), Leiden University -> University of California Berkeley, Dept. of Physics (US), 12 months
Majorana fermions could some day be used to build a quantum computer. A magnetic excitation gap is needed to incorporate these into a topological insulator. The researchers will investigate the creation of such a gap by illumination with light. This could help to avoid the use of problematic materials in experiments that will be performed in the near future.
Metal solar cells
Dr E. (Eric) Detsi (m), University of Groningen -> University of California Los Angeles, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry (US), 24 months
Cheap and efficient photo-electrochemical cells are important for our future supply of energy. In this project a new type of cell will be developed based on nanoporous metal. This might be cheaper and more efficient than traditional photo-electrochemical cells produced from semiconductors.
Improving the position of accident victims
N.A. (Nieke) Elbers (f), VU University Amsterdam -> University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School (AU), 12 months
The compensation procedure for accident victims can have a negative effect on their recovery. What is causing that and how can we improve the legal procedure? Researchers compared the effect of two different Australian compensation systems on the health of traffic accident victims.
Exploring the therapeutic potential of a novel exercise hormone, Irisin, for use against metabolic disorders
Dr A.G. (Anastasia) Georgiadi (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre -> Karolinska Institute, Dept. of Cell and Molecular Biology (SE), 24 months
Irisine is a newly discovered 'exercise hormone' which ensures that more fat is metabolised instead of being stored in fat cells. Research in mice has shown that irisine counteracts obesity and reduces diabetes. Follow-up research must demonstrate how irisine can be used as a medicine.
Looking with your brain
M.R. (Martine) Groen (f), VU University Amsterdam -> University College London, Neural Computation Lab. (GB), 24 months
Brain cells have many axons with which they communicate with each other. Together brain cells can use pixel information from the eye to distinguish the entire picture. The researcher will examine whether a single axon is capable of recognising an image.
Recovering from the break
Dr A (Aniek) Janssen (f), Utrecht University -> Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Genome Dynamics (US), 24 months
Each day damage occurs to the DNA in our cells, for example due to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Each piece of DNA is repaired in a different manner. This research will study these repair possibilities in different pieces of DNA.
More effective therapists with progress feedback?
Dr K. (Kim) de Jong (f), Leiden University -> University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of Psychology (US), 12 months
Giving therapists feedback about the treatment progress of patients is one way of improving the results of psychotherapy. This research will determine which characteristics of the therapist predict how effective he or she will be in dealing with the progress feedback.
How schemes enable you to learn
M.T.R. (Marlieke) van Kesteren (f), Radboud University Nijmegen –> Stanford University, Dept. of Psychology (US), 24 months
Prior knowledge, or a scheme, influences how you learn connecting or contrasting information. This research will examine how information related to such a scheme is processed by the brain and how this can be used for scheme-related learning in education.
Starting at the right moment
M.D. (Milena) Lazova, MSc. (f), VU University Amsterdam–> Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Dept. of Biology, (US), 24 months
Bacteria double their genetic information (DNA) to pass it to their progeny. The researchers will investigate how bacteria start doubling of DNA in the right time: bacteria that start that process too early or too late cannot survive.
Listening to the cores of colliding neutron stars
Dr T.G.F. (Tjonnie) Li (m), VU University Amsterdam/FOM-NIKHEF -> California Institute of Technology, LIGO Laboratory (US), 24 months
Neutron stars, the most massive stars in the universe, are ideal laboratories for fundamental physics. Our knowledge of such stars is, however, limited. Researchers propose using gravitational radiation so that the cores of neutron stars can be observed for the first time.
Faster and smarter discovery of new medicines using computers
M.H. (Marnix) Medema, MSc. (m), University of Groningen -> Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen (DE), 24 months
Bacteria and fungi make a wide range of substances that can be used for antibiotics and chemotherapeutics. The vast majority of the substances are still unknown. By using computers to sample as large a chemical, genetic and ecological diversity as possible, the researchers want to search the biochemical universe for new medicines.
A bird is recognised by its feathers?
M.M.L. (Michelle) Moerel, MSc. (f), Maastricht University –> University of Minnesota, Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (US), 24 months
In our everyday lives we are surrounded by sounds. By combining sound characteristics we learn to recognise sounds without difficulty. For example, we recognise a high and rapidly fluctuating sound as the singing of a bird. This project will investigate the brain mechanisms that underlie this.
Peasant farms and agricultural policies: the history of a 'paradigm of response'
Mr F. (Federico) D'Onofrio (m), Utrecht University -> Yale University, Dept. of Political Science (US), 12 months
The notion of the peasant farm was at the core of agricultural economics in Europe before World War Two. It decisively influenced agricultural policies in the first half of the 20th century. The notion of the peasant farm became popular again in developing countries after the 1970s. How did peasant farms enter the policy making process? I suggest that the notion of a "paradigm of response" provides a good way of understanding the relationship between scientific research and policies.
Stem cells for liver recovery: Trojan horse?
Dr B.A. (Baukje) Schotanus (f), Utrecht University -> University of Edinburgh, MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (GB), 12 months
Liver stem cells are being investigated due to the possibilities they offer for therapeutic use in untreatable liver diseases. However it would seem that they also facilitate the formation of connective tissue in the liver. The researchers want to investigate this and provide potentially important insights for stem cell therapy.
Observation of the third dimension
Dr R. (Rita) Sousa (f), VU University of Amsterdam -> University of New South Wales, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences Australia, School of Psychology (AU), 24 months
We cannot observe the third dimension directly. We have to derive it by combining different sources of information. Most experiments have studied these sources in virtual environments. This research aims to study the information sources in real and dynamic environments.
Differences in severity between patients with congenital arrhythmias
A.J.M. (Anke) Tijsen (f), University of Amsterdam –> Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, The Sohnis Research Laboratory for Cardiac Electrophysiology and Regenerative Medicine (IL), 24 months
Mutations in ion channels cause congenital arrhythmias, but the severity of these differs between people with the same mutation. A possible explanation of this are DNA variations in other parts of the disease gene. The researchers will study the effect of these variations and examine whether they can ensure that less diseased protein is present so that people suffer less severe arrhythmias.