Three experienced researchers in the Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences have been awarded prestigious NWO-Vidi grants, each 800.000 Euros, to develop their own innovative lines of research.
Vidi is part of Innovational Research Incentives Scheme from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Vidi is aimed at outstanding researchers who have carried out their doctorates and several years of successful research. NWO selected the winners based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative nature of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and opportunities for knowledge utilization.
The RIMLS management congratulates Geert van den Boogaart (Tumor Immunology), Bart Smeets (Pathology) and Bas Dutilh (CMBI) with this Vidi grant and wishes them every success in their projects.
Geert van den Bogaart (Tumor Immunology)
Project: Activation of the immune system.
Certain white blood cells (dendritic cells) activate T cells by presenting them fragments of pathogens or tumor cells. The VIDI project will address the cellular pathways that lead to pathogen presentation, with the aim to identify targets allowing for more efficient activation of the immune system. These insights could lead to new treatments of cancer and other (immune-related) diseases.
Bart Smeets (Pathology)
Project: Damage control in progressive kidney disease
Progressive kidney damage is a common problem in patients with chronic kidney disease. Bart Smeets will study the significance of the signal protein SDF-1 in preventing and repairing damage to the cells of the kidney glomerulus, the kidney tubules and the small blood vessels in the kidney. SDF-1 is an important protein involved in neovascularization and restoration of damaged tissues. His ultimate goal is to develop a treatment which makes recovery of kidney damage possible.
Bas Dutilh (CMBI)
Bacteriophages (viruses infecting bacteria) are the most abundant biological entities on earth and play major roles in all ecosystems by affecting the phenotypes and diversity of bacteria. In this project, Bas Dutilh will discover novel phages associated to the human gut by analyzing new and recycled metagenomic datasets, and develop bioinformatic tools and computational models to study how they contribute to intestinal biodiversity. The tools will be vital to fully exploit the increasingly available metagenomes from all ecosystems, and understand how phage-bacterial interactions shape our microbial world.
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