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Personal Grants

Read more about the research talent at Erasmus MC

NWO Veni's awarded to Erasmus MC researchers

Dr. Mariëlle Beenackers (Dept. of Public Health) - Room for health: how urban densification affects mental health
More people are living in cities. To accommodate this change, people need to live closer together. How healthy is that? With the help of residents, researchers will use innovative methods to study how recent increases in population density in the Randstad region of the Netherlands have affected mental health.

Dr. Simone Dalm (Dept. of Radiology & Nuclear Medicine) - Discovering how prior treatment can influence the success of radionuclide imaging and treatment
Prostate cancer and breast cancer can be visualized and treated with targeted radioactive molecules. Prior treatment e.g. anti-hormonal treatment or chemotherapeutics can influence the success hereof. In this project the influence of prior treatment will be studied to determine when and in whom radioactive molecules can best be applied.

Click here for the official press release by NWO and here for more information (only available in Dutch)

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ZonMw Memorabel Fellowship awarded to Dr. Harro Seelaar

Dr. Harro Seelaar (Dept. of Neurology) has received funding for his project on the role of neuroinflammation in genetic frontotemporal dementia from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) Memorabel. Memorabel is a dementia research and innovation programme administered by ZonMw as part of the Delta Plan for Dementia.

Summary of his project:
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common type of presenile dementia. A hereditary form is found in 30-40% of all FTD patients. There is growing evidence that inflammation in the brain (neuroinflammation) plays a role in dementia. In the Erasmus Medical Center, we follow genetic FTD patients and their healthy family members who have a 50% risk to develop FTD. We collect clinical data, blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples and MRI scans on one- or two-year basis since 2010. In this study we will investigate the role of neuroinflammation in genetic FTD and we will correlate neuroinflammatory biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid to other clinical, fluid and neuroimaging biomarkers (MRI and18F-DPA-binding on PET). Expression profiling of nuclei from fresh frozen brain samples of genetic FTD will be correlated with microglial morphometric data in order to identify novel disease markers or therapeutic targets.

Portraits of Prof. dr. Marion Koopmans, Prof. dr. Jan Hoeijmakers and Prof. dr. Frank Grosveld revealed at the Portrait Gallery at Erasmus MC

This week, Prof. dr. Ernst Kuipers (CEO of Erasmus MC) has revealed new portraits of three excellent scientists at the Portrait Gallery, located at the Passage of Erasmus MC. The Portrait Gallery has been opened to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the European Research Council, that yearly awards grants to excellent researchers who pursue excellent, high-risk and groundbreaking research projects. This gallery has now been expanded to recognize other outstanding contributions to science.

Please click on their names for more information: Prof. dr. Marion Koopmans, Prof. dr. Frank Grosveld and Prof. dr. Jan Hoeijmakers


Stijn Keereweer and Steven Petit have been awarded the KWF Young Investigator Grant
Dr. Stijn Keereweer (Depts. of Throat-Nose-Ear) and Dr. ir. Steven Petit (Dept. of Radiotherapy) have been awarded the KWF Young Investigator Grant. The KWF Young Investigator Grant of a maximum amount of €500,000,- for the period of four years is intended for talented post-doctoral researchers, resident physicians, or medical specialists early in their scientific careers in the field of oncology research.

Dr. Stijn Keereweer will investigate the use of tumor-targeted fluorescent dyes during complete removal of a tumor in the oral cavity, while Dr. Steven Petit  will determine which indicators can predict successful treatment of throat cancer.

3 NWO-Vidi grants awarded to Erasmus MC
The grant of € 800.000 enables the laureates to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years

Cerebro-cerebellar circuits for motor planning
Dr. Z. (Zhenyu) Gao (m), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
Think before you act. An important feature of voluntary movements is that we can decide about an optimal strategy before execution. It is currently unclear how the brain determines an action plan that guides future movement. The researcher will study how the cerebellum (little brain) helps by making a decision.

The missing link in bubble therapy
Dr. K. (Klazina) Kooiman (f), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
Miniature gas bubbles have the potential to locally deliver high dosages of drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer which reduces side-effects. This project addresses the exact mechanisms between miniature gas bubbles, drugs, and diseased cells so we can bring this bubble therapy to patients.

Drug repurposing for treating hepatitis E
Dr. Q. (Qiuwei) Pan (m), Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam
Hepatitis E virus has emerged as a true global health issues, with particular threatens to pregnant women and organ transplantation patients. This project aims to identify treatment from existing FDA-approved medications that are safe, cheap and effective to combat this disease in developing and developed counties

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Open Science Impuls awarded to Ms dr. Aleksandra Badura

Ms dr. Aleksandra Badura has been awarded an Open Science Impuls from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). She has received the award for her outstanding efforts in Open Science by making her Veni research “Cerebellar contribution to autism spectrum disorder (ASD): Role of the cerebellum in cognition and social behavior” accessible to other scientists, society and economy by means of open access publications, publication of codes used for analyses, and systematic reviews. Henk Smid, director of ZonMw, has handed out the prize, worth € 1.500, and a trophy in the shape of a glass sphere as a symbol of a future with transparent and responsible medical science, during a surprise visit.

Please click here for more information.

Vici grant awarded to 2 Erasmus MC scientists

Stop and Start; How cells cope with DNA damage that interferes with transcription
Dr J.A.F. (Jurgen) Marteijn (m), Erasmus MC - Molecular Genetics

DNA damage impedes transcription. This can result in severe cellular dysfunction and accelerated aging. An innovative microscopic analysis method will be used to study effects of DNA damage on transcription in living cells. Combined with advanced protein analysis, the scientists will study how cells cope with transcription-blocking DNA damage.

Can computers predict disease?
Prof. M. (Marleen) de Bruijne (f), Erasmus MC - Radiology and Medical Informatics
The researchers develop computer techniques to discover new patterns in large collections of medical imaging data related to diseases such as stroke and lung disease. This helps to predict the patient's risk of developing a disease, leading to better, more personalized treatment and perhaps even disease prevention.

Click here and here for more information

  Jurgen Marteijn      Marleen de Bruijne
  Karim Kreft

Dr. Karim Kreft has been awarded the Gemmy & Mibeth Tichelaar Prize
MS Research Foundation has awarded Dr. Karim Kreft (Dept. of Neurology, Erasmus MC Multiple Sclerosis Center) the Gemmy & Mibeth Tichelaar Prize (worth €60,000) for this research on the role of B-cells in multiple sclerosis. MS Research Foundation awards the Gemmy & Mibeth Tichelaar prize every two years to young, talented researchers who carry out fundamental research on multiple sclerosis.

Please click here and here for more information (only available in Dutch).

Prof. Caroline Klaver and Dr. Ijaz Qadeer Kahn have received funding from NWO Refugees in Science

As part of the pilot "Refugees in Science", NWO has awarded funding to twelve academics, who have left their fatherland due to a threatening situation. This funding can be used by the project leader to appoint a researcher with refugee status to a current NWO-project for a period of one year. The pilot has been developed in consultation with The Young Academic, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Foundation for Refugee Students UAF.

NWO has awarded funding to the project "Fair share: ex vivo conservation of Zebrafish models" submitted by Prof. Caroline Klaver (Dept. of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology) and candidate Dr. Ijaz Qadeer Kahn, DVM. Zebrafish can be used to model many medical issues in people. The growing number of zebrafish lines require improved methods for archiving these sustainably (deep freezing) and subsequently making these available for exchange with the global research community. Dr. Ijaz Qadeer Kahn is an expert on animal reproductive technology.

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The KWF Young Investigator Grant has been awarded to Julie Nonnekens and Astrid van der Veldt
Dr. Julie Nonnekens (Depts. of Molecular Genetics, Radiology & Nuclear Medicine; right picture) and Dr. Astrid van der Veldt (Dept. of Medical Oncology; left picture) have been awarded the KWF Young Investigator Grant. The KWF Young Investigator Grant is awarded to young, talented (clinical) researchers in the field of oncology research.

Julie Nonnekens will attempt to improve targeted radionuclide therapy via modulation of DNA damage in the tumor, while Astrid van der Veldt will investigate the quality of life of patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma after early termination of nivolumab or pembrolizumab treatment.

For more talent at Erasmus MC, click here