Radboud University: Rubicon-grant for three researchers Radboudumc

Three researchers from Radboud university medical center have received Rubicon funding from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and ZonMw. This will enable Elke Muntjewerff, Laura de Vries and Laurens van de Wiel to spend two years doing research at an international research institution. The Rubicon programme is intended to give young, talented scientists the opportunity to gain international research experience.

Elke Muntjewerff – Impaired cell communication in type 1 diabetes
Patients with type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin and require lifelong medication. In these patients, communication between immune and nerve cells is disrupted. The goal of this research is to visualise the communication between these cells in order to understand why people develop type 1 diabetes.

Laura de Vries – Mosquito-parasite interactions: an uninvited dinner guest
Mosquitoes spread the feared disease malaria by feasting on blood from people infected with a malaria parasite. The researcher strives to figure out how parasites use these feeds to thrive so new ways can be found to prevent the spread of malaria.

Laurens van de Wiel – Diagnosing diseases within hidden DNA links
How can DNA alterations lead to disease? A frequently unanswered question. New technologies that look beyond DNA alone offer fascinating new knowledge. Laurens van de Wiel aspires to develop bioinformatics methods that combine different sources of information to pinpoint hidden links in the DNA and thus better explain diseases.

Starting one’s career in a top institute
For many scientists, experience abroad is a crucial steppingstone in their careers. The Rubicon grant makes it possible for young researchers to conduct their research at a foreign institute that offers the best environment for their particular field of expertise.

A total of 21 Rubicon researchers, including the three from Radboud university medical center, will go abroad for 24 months. One laureate will be away for 12 months. The level of funding depends on the chosen destination and the duration of the stay. Each year NWO/ZonMw can fund around 60 young researchers within the framework of Rubicon (for a total amount of 7 million euros, spread over 3 rounds).

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