Prof. Dominique Baeten, Prof. Gijs van den Brink and Dr Peter Schall have each been awarded a Vici grant of €1.5 million by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). A Vici grant has also been awarded to Prof. Kené Henkens, special chair at the department of Sociology.
The grants will fund five years of research and enable the recipients to form a dedicated research group. The NWO awarded a total of 31 grants in this year's allocation round.
The chronic inflammation that accompanies many illnesses leads to loss of tissue and organ structure and function. Tissue damage is considered one of the main consequences of inflammation. In this project, Baeten will examine research findings on certain types of rheumatism to trace the reverse cause-and-effect relationship and answer the question: why and how does tissue cause inflammation?
Our intestines tolerate the presence of billions of harmless bacteria. Nevertheless, the adaptations needed for this also heighten the risk of intestinal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, Van den Brink will be looking at the intestinal cells thought to play a central role in this process.
Breakthroughs in the design of structures at the nanoscale will soon make it possible to produce new materials with exciting characteristics. Schall and his team will be creating complex nanostructures from building blocks at a new nanoscale. He will be researching the mechanical and electronic characteristics of these structures for the development of future materials.
As professor by special appointment of Pension Sociology at the UvA and leader of the Work & Retirement theme at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Henkens will conduct demographic research on older employees in an ageing society and on the new reality of our longer working lives. His project will be based mainly at the NIDI.
The Vici grant is a special form of personal funding awarded annually by the NWO to promote the development of talented researchers. It provides an impetus for the recipients while also opening the way for a large number of young researchers to work in their research groups. Grant recipients are free to choose their own research topic.