RIMLS highlights 2018
Ellen van den Bogaard ZonMw Off Road subsidyThe ZonMw Off Road subsidy gives young researchers the opportunity to test their groundbreaking hypothesis and to develop this innovative idea into a proof of concept.
Applications should be characterized by their high-risk profile and unconventional research methods ('high risk, high gain' projects). Specifically, the research should be fundamental (pilot data are not needed), in the field of (bio)medical of health sciences and concerns the development of technologies for a durable health system.
Ellen van de Bogaard, theme Inflammatory diseases, obtained the Off Road subsidy for her project entitled “Op de huid gezeten”. This project aims to study specific skin bacteria with potentially health promoting effects. Elucidating the mechanism of how these bacteria interact with skin and immune cells will aid in the analysis to identify the bio-active molecules that may be used to develop prebiotics or probiotics to promote skin health.
Mani Diba Best PhD ThesisMani Diba successfully defended his PhD thesis with the cum laude distinction. The title of his thesis was “Development of composite biomaterials with self-healing properties”.
The topic of the thesis (development of self-healing biomaterials) is appealing and has major potential long-term impact for different diseases. His scientific work has been published in high ranking journals, with Mani Diba being first author on all chapters. The thesis very well-written, coherent and understandable for people outside the field. His research is multidisciplinary and experimentally strong ranging from biomaterial engineering to in vitro cell models to in vivo rat models.
Eline van Houtum Best Master ThesisEline van Houtum wrote an extensive report of her MMD master internship at the department of Radiation Oncology, where she has been highly productive and has generated significant scientific data.
In the introduction, she visualized her concept and key-molecules using elegant and informative illustrations. Her scientific results were described in a structured manner, very pleasant to read, supported by clear and well-organized figures. Although a discussion section is often the most difficult part of the report for a student, Eline summarized and critically reviewed her work extensively, backed up by relevant literature. The title of her thesis was “Glycoengineered molecules to target the sialic acid-siglec axis in tumor immunology”.
Nick Proellocks Marie Curie grantNick Proellocks will join the lab of Taco Kooij at the Department of Medical Microbiology to work on a cutting-edge project studying the roles of a large Plasmodium falciparum gene family (the PfPHIST family) in parasite-host interactions, host-cell remodelling, and transmission.
He will combine the latest CRISPR-Cas9-based experimental genetics approaches with microfluidics devices to investigate rheological properties of the infected red blood cells. The project involves a number of collaborations, both local (Robert Sauerwein & Wilhelm Huck) and international (Hans-Peter Beck – Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute; Brian Cooke – Monash University, Australia).
Juan Rigalli Radboud Excellence FellowshipJuan Rigalli, theme Renal disorders, has been awarded the Radboud Excellence Fellowship to perform postdoctoral research at the Department of Physiology for a period of two years.
His research proposal "Renal electrolyte handling: going by the flow" aims to elucidate the role of ATP as a signaling molecule in the process of flow sensing in the kidney. Juan Rigalli was born in Argentina, where he received his PhD. Subsequently, he went to Germany for a postdoc position financed by a Humboldt Research Fellowship.
The Radboud Excellence Initiative was created with the dual purposes of bringing the most exceptional talents from every academic field to Radboud University while strengthening international bonds between universities worldwide. The Initiative is a joint enterprise of both Radboud University and Radboud University Medical Center.
Florian Wimmers et al. Breakthrough paperSingle-cell analysis reveals that stochasticity and paracrine signaling control interferon-alpha production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells as published in Nature Communications 9, 3318, 2018
The jury was impressed by the completeness and innovative approach of this study which shows that single cell cytokine and RNA-seq analysis is of great scientific value. Based on this study, the concept how IFNgamma producing plasmacytoid dendritic cells arise and become activated may have to be revised. The study challenges, but may not be in conflict with, other recently postulated immunological models. This new immunological insight may have clinical implications for DC targeted therapies as not all DCs are the same, nor static and that micro-environmental cues determines the outcome.