News items Grants for research on magnesium deficiency and malaria
1 July 2022

Radboudumc researchers Jeroen de Baaij and Felix Hol both receive an NWO Vidi grant for their research, respectively on magnesium deficiency in type 2 diabetes and on malaria. 

The kidney in the picture: magnesium deficiencies due to genetic causes and diabetes - Jeroen de Baaij 

Physiologist Jeroen de Baaij receives a Vidi grant with which he will investigate how it is possible that some ten to thirty percent of people with type 2 diabetes develop magnesium deficiencies. This shortage occurs because the kidneys do not absorb magnesium and it leaves the body through the urine. With this grant De Baaij wants to develop cells in the lab that allow him to map what goes wrong in the absorption of magnesium, after which he can test it via animal experiments. With this knowledge he can test medications in order to find a treatment for this large group of patients. He will receive a grant of 800,000 euros. 

Do parasites make mosquitoes better at transmitting malaria? - Felix Hol 

Biophysicist Felix Hol receives a VIDI grant for malaria research. Mosquitoes are extremely successful at making people sick by biting and infecting them with parasites. He wants to study how interactions between mosquito and parasite influence the spread of malaria. He does this by using a manufactured artificial skin. By releasing mosquitoes onto this skin, he wants to map out how the parasite influences the biting behavior of the mosquito. Do certain parasites make mosquitoes more hungry? Using film, he wants to map out how the mosquitoes can find people's blood vessels. Because the artificial skin is transparent, this process can be pictured exactly. Finally, he hopes to gain more knowledge about how the parasite, after the mosquito spits it out, moves through the skin into the human bloodstream. He is receiving a grant of 800,000 euros from the NWO.

About the grants

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Vidi funding of 800,000 euros to 101 experienced researchers. This will enable them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up a research group over the next five years. Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhD. Together with the Veni and Vici grants, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Programme.

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