The Dutch Research Council has awarded 81 experienced researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros. The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years. At the Radboudumc, Francesco Ciompi (Department of Digital Pathology), Koen Haak (Donders Institute) and Laurien Buffart (Department of Physiology) took part. Which topics will they be working on in the next five years?
Francesco: Predicting Lung Cancer Immunotherapy Response. It’s personal.
Immunotherapy can cure lung cancer. But most patients do not respond and solely experience the toxicity of this very expensive drug. In this research project, Francesco will use artificial intelligence to discover and extract biomarkers from multiple digital pathology images to identify the lucky patients who will respond to immunotherapy.
Koen: The way I see it: bridging the gap between visual function and functional vision
People with similar visual function (e.g., visual acuity) can vary greatly in their functional vision (e.g., whether they can read or drive a car). Koen will study whether individual differences exist in how the brain compensates and/or degenerates in patients with eye disease, and whether these predict functional vision.
Laurien: Physical exercise to boost benefit from chemotherapy?
Exercise during cancer treatment benefits physical fitness and quality of life. Yet, the effect on clinical outcome is unknown. Her study will elucidate whether exercise can improve benefit from chemotherapy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Therein will be examined which of two different exercise programs can best prevent chemotherapy dose modifications via reduced toxicity and enhanced psychological strength and what the exercise effects are on immune function.
Veni, Vidi, Vici –NWO Talenten programme
Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Programme. Researchers in the Talent Programme are free to submit their own subject for funding. This way NWO encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research.