The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded four promising young UvA researchers a Rubicon grant. This grant offers researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate the opportunity to gain research experience abroad. Foreign researchers also get the opportunity to conduct research in the Netherlands. The four successful UvA researchers were selected due to their talent for conducting innovative and groundbreaking research. A total of 155 researchers submitted a research proposal. Of these, 35 received a grant from the NWO. Together, they will receive €1.7 million.
The successful UvA / AMC researchersMr C.J.J. Boogerd (Medicine): What causes congenital heart defects?
Boogerd is going to study the role of the TBX20 protein on the construction of heart valves and heart muscle. The protein may be involved in congenital heart defects. This protein will be isolated from a mouse heart, to gain insight into congenital heart defects.
The research will be conducted at the University of California, San Diego (USA).
Dr S. van Gaal (Psychology): Measuring consciousness in damaged and healthy brains
Van Gaal will measure brain activity in healthy people and patients with consciousness problems. For example, people who find themselves in a coma or a vegetative state. This will allow him to find out how the brain generates our consciousness and what goes wrong when we lose consciousness.
The research will be conducted at the Neurospin Institute (France).
Mr L. Huijse (Physics): Understanding foreign materials with black holes
Some materials have special properties. They can conduct electricity without resistance for example or have infinite low-energy states. Materials with these special properties are often poorly understood. Huijse will try to gain more insight into these materials
The research will be conducted at Harvard University, Cambridge (USA).
Dr M.T.M. Mommersteeg (Biology): How is the heart controlled?
The rhythm and the strength of the heart are controlled via nerves from the brain. Mommersteeg will examine how the connections between the heart and brain come to being and what mechanism underlies it.
The research will be conducted at University College London (UK).