Teun Bousema and Ioannis Sechopoulos each receive an ERC Consolidator Grant of around two million euros. This European research subsidy will enable them to carry out research for the next five years.
Teun Bousema is professor of Epidemiology of Tropical Infectious Diseases, and an expert in the field of malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease passed on by mosquitoes and people. Transmission of the disease on depends on many factors, such as the mosquito, the person's immune system and the local climate. With this grant, Bousema intends to pioneer research into how many parasites are actually passed on through each mosquito bite and what this means for the distribution of the parasite. His goal is to map out the distribution on an unprecedented scale in various areas in Africa. He will also be mapping out the role of human immunity in the distribution stages of malaria and research the importance of this immunity in relation to attempts to eradicate the disease. The results of this research will provide starting points to further combat this deadly disease.
Ioannis Sechopoulos is associate professor at the department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine. He focuses on the imaging of breast cancer through X-ray scans and on methods to improve the images and analyses. With this grant, Sechopoulos intends to develop a new scanning method to detect breast cancer. The ‘4D scan’ should be able to distinguish between various areas within a tumor on the basis of a special breast CT scanner. These areas can show, for instance, how well certain parts of the tumor will respond to different treatments so a tailor-made treatment plan can be drawn up. The system should also be able to determine whether a treatment has been successful enough to avoid the necessity of a surgical procedure.
Recently, Sechopoulos was awarded another project by the NWO, called aiREAD. From January 2020, he will be using artificial intelligence to improve the reading of mammograms.