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Utrecht University
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Grants of 1.5 million euros for leading scientists

Five Utrecht University researchers receive Vici grant


Five excellent scientists from Utrecht University have received a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros from NWO. The funding will enable the laureates to do research for the next five years and to build up their own research group. In total 32 Dutch leading scientists receive a Vici grant this year. Between 2002 and 2016 researchers from Utrecht University received 73 out of the overall 415 Vici grants (18%).

De Vici laureats of Utrecht University:

  • Microvascular function and brain networks - Keys to understanding the vascular burden in dementia
    Prof. dr. Geert Jan Biessels - Faculty of Medicine / UMC Utrecht
    Vessel damage in the brain causes dementia. With the latest brain scan techniques Biessels will investigate how the deregulation of small blood vessels can result in brain damage and what the consequences of this are. What happens to the brain network? What are the vulnerable regions of the brain? An understanding of the causes and consequences of brain vessel damage is vital for optimal diagnosis and treatment.

  • Imaging the deep Earth: Attenuation tomography using novel observations of free oscillations
    Dr. Arwen Deuss - Faculty of Geosciences
    Large earthquakes cause the Earth to sound like a bell. As a seismologist Deuss uses these vibrations to make images of the deep structure of the Earth. Using this information she investigates how deep tectonic movements bring water into the Earth and whether molten material is found at the core-mantle boundary.

  • Managing anxiety with an improved method
    Prof. dr. Iris Engelhard - Faculty of Social Sciences
    People with an anxiety disorder can no longer function properly due to their anxiety. Cognitive behavioural therapy is effective, but far from optimal, as the anxiety often returns at a later stage. In this project Engelhard will investigate whether a new psychological treatment, aimed at weakening memories of anxiety, leads to better results.

  • Anger, revenge or pleasure seeking: using virtual reality to discover and influence processes behind aggressive behaviour of children
    Prof. dr. Bram Orobio de Castro - Faculty of Social Sciences
    Aggressive behavioural problems are harmful for children and their environment. To treat aggression the emotional processes that occurred immediately before aggressive behaviour are important. In this project these processes will be determined in children with behavioural problems and influenced using a virtual reality environment. This will enable aggressive behaviour to be treated more effectively.

  • Co-evolution and convergence: Understanding and exploiting genomic diversity of core cellular processes
    Prof. dr. Berend Snel - Faculty of Science
    It is now easier than ever to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms. To be able to make predictions about the functions in their DNA, also if this is highly deviant, Snel will develop new bioinformatics methods in this research that are based on new evolutionary insights. Read more about his research.

Veni, Vidi, Vici
Vici is part of NWO's Talent Scheme, which consists of the Veni, Vidi and Vici grants. With this scheme NWO encourages scientific talent by offering scientists in various stages of their career the opportunity to do groundbreaking research. The Vici grant is a boost for the laureates and it also creates opportunities for a large number of young researchers who will work in the laureates’ research groups.

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