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Three scientists from the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science have received a Vici grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). They will each receive €1,500,000 to conduct research in the coming five years.

Three scientists from the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science have received a Vici grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Dr Bas de Bruin, Dr Leendert Hamoen and Prof. Jos Oomens will each receive €1,500,000 to conduct research in the coming five years.

The NWO selects Vici recipients based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character and scientific impact of the proposed research and knowledge utilisation. This year, 236 scientists wrote a brief preliminary proposal for a Vici grant. A total of 31 research proposals were accepted this round.

The Awards:

Radical approach to catalysis

Very interesting chemical transformations are possible by means of radical-type reactions. But are radicals not too reactive to selectively attain these reactions? In principle this is not the case, as many biological processes occur through highly selective radical-type reactions. In this bio-inspired project, Dr Bas de Bruin (Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences) will seek to produce selective catalytic radical-type reactions with synthetic catalysts.

New antibiotics against nasty bacteria

More and more pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant and the number of usable antibiotics is running out. Inhibiting the cell division of harmful bacteria could be a breakthrough. Dr Leendert Hamoen (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences) will therefore look at how bacteria cells divide. This makes the development of a new generation of antibiotics possible.

The secret reactions of proteins

Although protein sequencing is currently based entirely on dissociation reactions in a mass spectrometer, the reaction mechanisms of proteins themselves are not well known. In this project, Prof. Jos Oomens (Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences) will be studying proteins through an innovative combination of mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy.

About the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme

Vici is one of the three forms of funding available through the Innovation Research Incentives Scheme aimed at senior researchers. The other two are Veni (for researchers who have recently completed their PhD) and Vidi (for researchers who have completed their PhD and already spent some years conducting post-doctoral research). The scheme was set up in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and Dutch universities.