21 January 2020

The Board of NWO Domain Science has awarded in the NWO Open Competition Domain Science, Ronald van Rij, theme Infectious diseases and global health and Jennny van der Wijst, theme Renal disorders, an XS grant. The maximum funding is 50.000 euros per project. The XS category emphatically strives to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research involving a relatively quick analysis of a promising idea. As a pilot, applicants are also an assessor in the XS assessment process. 

Ronald van Rij
Project: Defining the regulatory circuit that drives early development of virus-transmitting mosquitoes
Complex organisms are composed of a wide diversity of cell types, tissues, and organs, yet they all emerged from just a single fertilized cell. The very first steps in this developmental process are similar between different animal species, however, they can differ greatly at the molecular level. Early embryonic development has not been studied in the mosquito Aedes aegypti that is responsible for transmission of important epidemic viruses. In this project, the researchers will unravel genes that are essential for early development of this important mosquito species.

Jenny van der Wijst
Project: Novel peptide therapeutic to fight kidney stones
Kidney stones affect around 1 in 10 people worldwide. It can be treated, but recurrence rates are high (>30%) resulting in increased risk of chronic kidney disease. An improved, possibly preventive treatment is needed. Our research aims to develop a novel drug to prevent kidney stone formation, based on our body’s calcium regulation. Calcium, obtained from our diet and essential for i.a. bone, can precipitate in our kidneys. This may lead to crystal formation, and ultimately kidney stone development. We propose to stop this process and prevent stone formation by local calcium buffering in the kidney via an original peptide-drug.

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