Numerous grants were acquired by our outstanding researchers. We are delighted with these accomplishments. The most significant grants awarded in 2017 are represented on this page.

RIMLS highlights 2017


ERC-grant for Michiel Vermeulen

In this video, Michiel Vermeulen talks about his recently acquired ERC Consolidator grant. He also explains what he hopes to achieve with this grant.

Henk Stunnenberg & Mihai Netea Understanding each other’s scientific language

For several years, these two prominent researchers have performed great research together with groundbreaking science as a result. What makes their collaboration so successful?

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Henk Stunnenberg & Mihai Netea Understanding each other’s scientific language

Henk Stunnenberg and Mihai Netea: two top-researchers in their separate fields and each highly acclaimed. Yet, also known as an entity, in the halls of RIMLS. And no wonder, for they have been doing collaborative research on immunology for some eight years now with great outcomes. With a joint grant awarded them in 2017, their collaboration is not likely to end any time soon.

Q1 How did the two of you come to join forces?

“Within internal medicine I was studying infectious diseases,” Mihai explains. “To continue my line of research I needed to know more about molecular processes in the nucleus of cells. Sometimes as a scientist you have to understand where your boundaries are and ask for help. One possibility is to – by yourself – try to understand all that is needed to know about molecular biology, but then it’s likely you’ll have to make all the same mistakes first. It’s so much more efficient to work together. So, I asked Henk to help me.

And I’d always said that I’d do research in any field except immunology,” Henk says. “And now here I am – thanks to Mihai – researching immunology. When I started investigating molecular and epigenetic approaches to unveil the complexity of the processes in the nucleus of the cell, we couldn’t easily apply these approaches to primary immune cells. However, technology has changed enormously, we can apply the newest methods on very small amounts of cells and dive deeper into it revealing the enormous complexity which aroused my curiosity.”

Q2 What are the benefits and the difficulties of collaborating?

“Difficulties? Difficulties? No, we don’t have any difficulties, do we Mihai?”
 
Mihai shrugs: “At most choosing a direction. You cannot research everything. Sometimes there are three or four ideas but you can only carry out one. But if one of us feels strongly about an abandoned idea, we research it in our own subgroup.”

“We meet when we need to; to discuss results or to design plans. Our expertise complement one another’s. We don’t know the details of what the other does, but we know more of each others fields than we used to.”
 
“We’ve come to understand each other’s language,” Mihai concludes.


Henk and Mihai worked together on the BluePrint project that generated at least 100 reference epigenomes, which increased our understanding of underlying processes of health and disease. Now they have joined forces in the project Epigenetic targeting for prevention of sepsis-induced macrophage tolerance in humans. They were awarded the ZonMW Top grant, worth € 675,000 for this project.

Q3 How does it feel to be able to continue your collaboration?

We still have a long way to go. But we'll get there.
Mihai: “Well … a top grant is very nice, but it’s relatively limited. There’s much better funding for other areas than infections, unfortunately.”

Henk: “I thought it would have been easier getting funding when the benefits for patients are more clear and there’s less focus on the molecular.”

Mihai shakes his head: “No. I sometimes feel that it’s all about funding the next big and fresh idea. But research is more than that. It takes three to four years to discover how important a new concept is and another ten years or so to understand how that knowledge can be translated into treatments that can benefit patients. We still have a long way to go.”

Henk: “But we’ll get there.”

Mihai: “Sure, sure, of course.”

Henk: “The first phase often shows how little we actually know. I love how the more you uncover and the better our technological methods become the more complex a problem gets. I mean: if it were easy, it wouldn’t be any fun.”

Mihai: “If it were easy, it would have been discovered already.” 


Last year, Henk was appointed as Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion by His Majesty. And in 2016, Mihai was awarded the Spinoza prize.

Q4 Is this recognition something you continue to strive for?

The two men quickly glance at each other with raised eyebrows, after which Henk says: “I would have preferred the Spinoza prize. Why? Because the Spinoza comes with money with which to do research. Don’t get me wrong: I was honored by the recognition. It’s nice to know that the university nominated me and appreciates the work I do. But it’s not something I strive for. I won’t be putting it on my CV, for example.”
 
“The Spinoza prize really is an honor and it gave me great opportunities in my research,” Mihai says. “At the end of the day, though, it’s not why I do research. I want the work I do to make a real contribution. You have to be your own judge on the importance of your work. Given the choice of winning a prestigious award for something I knew was of little scientific significance or of discovering something truly groundbreaking and getting no acknowledgement, I would definitely choose the latter. No question.”
 
Henk nods in agreement. “For me it’s all about the science for science and gaining insight. I want the freedom to follow where the data leads me and not be worried about what it might be used for. That,” he says pointing to Mihai, “is for the clinical researchers.”
 
“Yes, I want my work to directly benefit patients but like Henk I’m curious about how things work and that drives us both.”


Virus research Ronald van Rij & Pascal Miesen

Master and apprentice reveal their passion about their virus research. Additionally, they will cover what can be learned from the PhD supervisor of the year.

Horizon 2020 grants

A selection of Horizon 2020 grants obtained by our RIMLS researchers is presented here.

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Horizon 2020 grants

Infectious diseases and global health

Romanian Centre of Excellence for Systems Immunology (ROCSI). Mihai Netea & Leo Joosten (Consortium).
Awarded: € 400k

Infectious diseases and global health

Infravec2  to fight insect-transmitted diseases. Robert Sauerwein (Consortium).
Awarded: € 10M

Mitochondrial diseases

Hypo-RESOLVE, Hypoglycaemia - Redefining Solutions for better lives. Bastiaan de Galen (Consortium).
Awarded: € 3M

Reconstructive and regenerative medicine

MyLeg. Jan-Paul Frölke (Consortium).
Awarded: € 4.5M

Renal disorders

Marie Curie Global Fellowship. Jenny van der Wijst.
Awarded: € 165k

Tumours of the digestive tract

Solve-RD, Solving the unsolved rare diseases. Nicoline Hoogerbrugge (Consortium).
Awarded: € 4.7M


Personal grants

A selection of personal grants obtained by our RIMLS researchers is presented here.

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Personal grants

Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation

ARL15: the missing link between Type 2 Diabetes and disturbed Mg2+ homeostasis
Jeroen de Baaij, Renal disorders.
Awarded: €275k

Dutch Kidney Foundation – Kolff

Strike while the iron is hot: hepcidin-mediated protection against hemoglobin-induced acute kidney injury
Rachel van Swelm, Renal disorders.
Awarded: €225k

ERC – Consolidator

Systems biology approach to investigate cell fate switches in intestinal organoids
Michiel Vermeulen, Cancer development and immune defence.
Awarded: € 2M 

KWF - Young Investigator

Mass spectrometry as a novel ultra-sensitive platform to measure minimal residual disease in serum of patients with multiple myeoloma
Hans Jacobs, Cancer development and immune defence.
Awarded: € 510k

KWF - Young Investigator

The ImmuNet: integrating immunological parameters for personalized cancer therapy
Johannes Textor, Cancer development and immune defence.
Awarded: € 517k

NWO – Veni

The magnesium journey through the renal cell: how to get out?
Jeroen de Baaij, Renal disorders.
Awarded: € 250k

NWO - Vici

Small RNAs with a large impact on virus spread
Ronald van Rij, Infectious diseases and global health.
Awarded: € 1,5M

List of grants

A selection of other grants obtained by our RIMLS researchers is presented here.

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List of grants

Cancer development and immune defence

KWF. Towards prediction of the outcome of cancer immunotherapy. Carl Figdor.
Awarded: € 700k 

Cancer development and immune defence

KWF. Netherlands facility for Cancer-Immune Analysis (N-CIA). Carl Figdor & NKI (Consortium).
Awarded: € 3.6M

Cancer development and immune defence

KWF. Clonal relationship and mutational landscape of B-cell recurrences: a key to tailored treatment. Han van Krieken.
Awarded: € 600k 

Cancer development and immune defence / Infectious diseases and global health

ZonMW-TOP. Epigenetic targeting for prevention of sepsis-induced macrophage tolerance in humans. Henk Stunnenberg & Mihai Netea.
Awarded: €675k

Infectious diseases and global health

ZonMW-TOP. Host response to Lyme disease. Leo Joosten & Bart-Jan Kullberg.
Awarded: € 900k            

Inflammatory diseases

Dutch Arthritis Association. Osteoarthtritis. Arjan Blom, Martijn van den Bosch & Peter van Lent.
Awarded: € 460k

Inflammatory diseases

ZonMW. 3D human skin microbiome model to study mechanisms of host-microbe interactions. Ellen van den Bogaard, Patrick Zeeuwen & Joost Schalkwijk.
Awarded: € 240k 

Inflammatory diseases

EULAR-FOREUM. Targeting senescent cells in osteoarthritis. Peter van der Kraan.
Awarded: € 600k 

Nanomedicine

ERA-NET. Imaging in cardiovascular diseases. Mangala Srinivas.
Awarded: € 800k 

Rare cancers

KWF. Myeloid cell reprogramming in the context of radio-Iodine therapy in patients with non-medullary thyroid carcinoma. Romana Netea-Maier.
Awarded: 151k 

Reconstructive and regenerative medicine

ZonMW. ioCOMPONENTS. Jeroen van der Beucken.
Awarded: € 620k    

Reconstructive and regenerative medicine

KWF. Comprehensive genetic monitoring of MDS and AML (sub)ciones in response to therapy. Yvet Kroeze.
Awarded: € 508k 

Renal disorders

TKI. GLYCOTREAT. Johan van der Vlag (Consortium).
Awarded: € 800k

​Renal disorders

TKI. NOVAMEM. Johan van der Vlag (Consortium).
Awarded: € 600k 

Renal disorders

Paradifference Foundation. Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. Peter Deen & Henri Timmers (Consortium).
Awarded: € 1.2M 

Renal disorders

Foundation Fighting Blindness. Target disrupted proteasis in retinal ciliopathies. Ronald Roepman (Consortium).
Awarded: $2.5M                                                                 

Renal disorders

ZonMW-TOP. Mechanisms of photoreceptor cell apoptosis. Ronald Roepman.
Awarded: € 675k

Tumours of the digestive tract

KWF. Improving treatment decisions in colorectal cancer: the role of tumor budding. Iris Nagtegaal (Consortium).
Awarded: € 1.6M 

Tumours of the digestive tract

ERN. ERN GENTURIS. Nicoline Hogerbrugge.
Awarded: € 1M

Urological cancers

ZonMW. PRO-SWAP. Michiel Sedelaar (Consortium).
Awarded: € 577 
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