News items Rubicon grants for three researchers Radboudumc
19 April 2022

Elke Muntjewerff, theme Cancer development and immune defence, Laura de Vries, theme Infectious diseases and global health and Laurens van de Wiel, theme Nanomedicine, have received Rubicon funding from NWO/ZonMw. This will enable them to spend two years on research at a foreign institute.

Rubicon, part of the NWO Talent Programme is intended to give young, promising scientists the opportunity to gain international research experience. 

The projects of the three researchers who received the Rubicon grant are: 

Elke Muntjewerff - Disturbed cell communication in type 1 diabetes

Patients with type 1 diabetes are insulin dependent and need life-long treatment. In these patients, the communication between immune and nerve cells in the pancreas is disturbed. The goal of this research is to visualize the communication between these cells to help understand why people develop type 1 diabetes.

Laura de Vries - Mosquito-parasite interactions: an uninvited guest for dinner

Mosquitoes spread the devastating disease malaria by taking a bloodmeal from humans infected with the malaria parasite. The researcher will study how parasites use these mosquito resources for development, in order to find new ways to prevent malaria transmission.

Laurens van de Wiel - Finding diagnoses hidden in switches within the DNA

How can DNA changes lead to disease? This is often an unanswered question. New technologies that look beyond the scope of DNA may offer new insights. The researcher will develop novel bioinformatic techniques to combine these new information sources to find hidden switches in the DNA to better explain disease.

Start of career in top institute

Experience abroad is an important step in the career of many scientists. The Rubicon grant makes it possible for young researchers to do their research at a foreign institute that offers the best environment for their research. A total of 21 Rubicon researchers, including the three from the Radboudumc, will go abroad for 24 months. One laureate will go away for 12 months. The amount of funding depends on the chosen destination and the duration of the stay. Each year NWO/ZonMw can fund about 60 young researchers within Rubicon (for a total amount of 7 million euros, divided over 3 rounds.

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Pieter Lomans


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