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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon grant to three promising young UvA scientists.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon grant to three promising young UvA scientists. This grant was established to help researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate to gain research experience abroad and help foreign researchers to conduct research in the Netherlands. The recipients were selected on the basis of their talent for innovative and groundbreaking research. A total of 130 researchers submitted a research proposal. Thirty-five of these researchers were awarded an NWO grant. In total, the researchers will be receiving grants amounting to 1.7 million Euros.

The UvA/AMC grant recipients:

  • E. Marinus (Pedagogics and Didactics): How children learn to read.

In order to read properly, it is essential that we can recognise written words at a glance. Marinus will be assessing how children learn this skill and why it remains problematic for children with reading disorders.
The study will be conducted at Macquarie University, Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science (Australia).

  • Dr B.J. van Raam (Medicine): The many faces of cell death

The continual controlled production and termination of cells occurs in various organs throughout the human body. Cells can be prompted to commit preprogrammed ‘suicide' in various ways. These 'suicide programmes' are often disrupted in cancer cells, causing the cell to live beyond its intended lifespan. However, there seem to be ways of inducing suicide in cancer cells. Van Raam aims to identify the mechanism underlying these new forms of cell death.
The study will be conducted at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Program in Apoptosis and Cell Death Research (United States).

  • Dr T.D. Stek (Archaeology): Roman colonies: villages rather than cities?

Roman colonies are generally regarded as proud cities. Yet new studies point to a non-urban system of settlements in which villages played a central role. Stek will be analysing the machinations of this system. To this end, he will be using Latin inscriptions and archaeological remains.
The study will be conducted at Oxford University (United Kingdom).

Research at the AMC

A single Dutch researcher was awarded a Rubicon grant to conduct research at the AMC.
  • Dr J. den Dunnen (Cellular Biology): A new role for antibodies.

During an infection, the human body produces antibodies to protect itself against pathogens. Den Dunnen has discovered a new function for these antibodies, and will be conducting a study to determine how this function helps protect the body against pathogens and the disease SLE.