University of Groningen: Five UG/UMCG researchers awarded Vidi grants

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant of €800,000 to Julia Kamenz, Vânia Correia de Aguiar, Alberto Godioli, Gert Stulp and Marco Demaria. With this grant, the researchers can develop their own innovative five-year research plans and can establish their own research groups.

Vidi grants are intended for experienced researchers who have been conducting successful research for some years after gaining a PhD. Alongside the Veni and Vici grants, the Vidi grant is part of the NWO Talent Programme. Within this programme, researchers are free to submit their own topics for funding. In total, 402 researchers submitted their research proposals in the hope of acquiring funding during this round of Vidi applications. Sevent-eight of these proposals were honoured.

UG/UMCG researchers who have been awarded a Vidi grant:

Julia Kamenz – Take your time: How cells ensure ordered cell division
To avoid errors and prevent cancer, the complicated steps of cell division have to occur in an orderly manner, one step at a time. This project will explore how proteins communicate with each other to ensure that every step only happens at the correct moment during cell division.

Vânia Correia de Aguiar – Language development after paediatric brain tumours
Cognitive disorders in children with brain tumours may occur due to damage caused by the tumour or due to necessary medical interventions. The researchers will study these children’s language abilities in relation to the treatment followed, consisting of surgery only or a combination of surgery, chemo, and proton radiotherapy.

Alberto Godioli – Humour in Court
Defining the legal boundaries of free speech is difficult – even more so when humour is involved. National and international courts often have an inconsistent approach to offensive humour. Building on insights from humour studies and literary theory, this project aims to improve the handling of humour in free speech regulation.

Gert Stulp – Chance and Children
When and how many children will be born is difficult to predict. Models based on medical insights on the chances of conception and machine learning can help improve prediction. Findings can inform family policies to reduce involuntary childlessness and reliance on medically assisted reproduction.
Marco Demaria – Eliminating harmful cells to promote healthy aging
Aging is the slow but steady deterioration of physiological functions. A main contributor to aging and age-related pathology is the accumulation of old or ‘senescent’ cells. Aims of this proposal are to identify markers of old cells and use these markers to develop anti-aging interventions.

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