NCMLS Veni laureates 2013

Veni 2012

Five young researchers, affiliated to the NCMLS, have each received a Veni grant of 250,000 euro from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). Our researchers received this prestigious grant for their remarkable and original talent and their ability to carry out innovative research. They have only recently completed their doctorates and have now the challenging opportunity to develop their scientific ideas during the coming three years. The Veni grant from the NWO's Innovational Research Incentives Scheme is one of the most prestigious grants for young researchers, and to be awarded is considered an important step in an academic career. Although the Veni researchers are at the beginning of their careers, they have demonstrated to not only possess a remarkable talent in conducting academic research, but are also at the top of their scientific field internationally.

As NCMLS we can make the difference with these newly identified high potentials who can start their own research lines. Hopefully, they will also serve as role models for our current PhD's and motivate them to pursue a similar Veni track.

During the application process our Veni applicants were supported by the NCMLS Veni committee chaired by Prof. Gert Jan Veenstra (currently chaired by Johan van der Vlag) and our valorisation centre (Dr. Claudia Soede-Huijbregts). Their successful support is greatly appreciated and certainly contributed to this outstanding achievement.

On behalf of all NCMLS colleagues, we wish our laureates a lot of fun and excitement performing their studies and outlined plans in the years to come. Congratulations to all of you!

1) The railway network of our cells 

Hubner, NinaDr Nina Hubner, Dept. of Molecular Biology
Similar to a railway network, our cells have complex networks that determine their function. In this project, researchers study the proteins that control the railroad switches of these networks and thus determine the destination of a cell. In cancer, these railroad switches are often misadjusted.

2) Understanding differences in DNA
Gilissen , Christian 2013Dr. Christian Gilissen, Dept. of Genetics
The human DNA contains a lot of variation. It is therefore challenging to identify which variation causes disease. In this research we use normal population variation to recognize disease-causing variants.

3) Systems immunology at the single cell level
Tel JurjenDr. Jurjen Tel, Dept of Tumor Immunology

Despite detailed molecular information on individual immune cell subtypes, virtually no information is available on the functional capacities of individual immune cell subtypes. So far both in vivo animal models, as well as in vitro laboratory test tube experiments, only yield a global outcome of interactions of often millions of cells rather than providing insight in the functional contribution of individual immune cells. By exploiting droplet-based microfluidics, I plan to study well defined homogeneous immune cells for their capacity and plasticity in inducing immune responses. I anticipate that this systems immunology approach may reveal novel fundamental insight in the heterogeneity and plasticity of immune functions of immune cell subtypes previously defined as homogeneous.

4) Features of an immunological serial killer
Dieteren, CindyDr. Cindy Dieteren, Dept. of Cell biology
Cytotoxic T cells are able to detect cancer cells and kill them one-by-one. Changes in the tumor environment can disrupt this immune response. This study will examine using advanced microscopy how a single T-cell attacks different cancer cells and how the tumor environment affects these interactions.

5) An ion channel and enzyme inextricably linked
Wijst , Jenny VdDr. Jenny van der Wijst, Dept. of Physiology
The kidney monitors the magnesium concentration in the blood by using a unique protein that consists of a channel unit with an enzymatic domain. In this project I will unravel the duo functionality of this gate-keeper.

Within the Radboud University, 19 Veni's were awarded, link

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