Siroon Bekkering, theme Vascular damage, obtained a Dekker grant (209k euro) of the Dutch Heart Foundation. This competitive grant allows Siroon to perform her project 'Trained innate immunity at the level of bone marrow progenitors as driver of atherosclerosis development'.Siroon Bekkering studies how atherosclerosis progresses through the activation of the immune system. Cholesterol and other inflammatory molecules can activate the innate immune system and make it hyperactive (a process called trained immunity). These hyperactive immune cells are found in the circulation of patients with cardiovascular disease. In this project starting in March 2020 (in the research groups of Mihai Netea and Niels Riksen) Siroon will study specific subtypes and progenitors of innate immune cells and dive into the molecular mechanisms of this hyperactivity.
In 2018 Siroon obtained a Rubicon grant with her project: Young and obese: does inflammation cause the earlier onset of cardiovascular disease? For this project Siroon is now living in Australia and working at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia (Department of Internal Medicine).
About her stay in Australia you can follow her vlog, which she has made for NWO.