Eight Vidi's for VU en VUmc

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research has awarded eight experienced VU and VUmc researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros.

06/01/2018 | 12:00 AM

The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years.

Veraverbeke1Sander Veraverbeke will research 'Fires pushing trees North'. High-latitude regions are warming faster than the rest of the world. This results in more fires and tree species that lag their climatic niche. This project hypothesizes that fires create opportunities for northern tree species to move North, and will analyze effects of these changes on global climate.
BlanchetteJasmin Blanchette wants to develop software to help mathematicians to write correct proofs. He will focus on number theory, a branch of mathematics dedicated primarily to the study of the integers, and collaborate with Dutch mathematicians to ensure the software is usable and works well with computer algebra systems.
What explains socioeconomic inequality in health? Research suggests that 85% of early deaths are due to behavior, genetic predispositions, and socioeconomic circumstances. The project of economist Titus Galama focuses on these alleged three largest contributors, utilizing recent discoveries in genetics, which now make possible the identification of modifiable aspects of environments that protect against genetic risk for unhealthy behaviors.
MarchantNathan Marchant will investigate how the addicted brain loses control. Alcohol addiction is a brain disorder that is accompanied by loss of control over behavior. Marchant and his colleagues want to use modern techniques to trace the brain circuits that are responsible for compulsive alcohol use and the high risk of relapse. To this end, the researchers use a new animal model that describes the persistent urge for alcohol despite the very negative consequences.
JolineDiabetic patients have a twice-increased cardiovascular risk. Joline Beulens will identify calcification of the middle vascular layer as a novel cardiovascular risk factor in diabetes patients, leading to stiffening of vessels and the heart, and identify ways to target this risk factor.
What is the similarity between the claw of a tiger and an adapted right ventricle in PAH patients? Their shape allows them to withstand immense forces. Frances Handoko-de Man will investigate how right heart failure can be treated by keeping the right ventricle in shape.
MinBrains consist for the most part of salts and water, where the precise distribution of these ingredients is essential. In some brain diseases, this distribution is disrupted, causing white matter to be chronically swollen, with serious consequences. Rogier Min van VUmc - Department of Neurology wants to show how this swelling develops, and what can be done about it.
Neil Olver
Neil Olver will develop usable algorithms for network optimization. Networks of many kinds—such as communication, traffic, and social networks—have been growing in size and importance. The same mathematical problems about efficiently designing and utilizing networks occur in many different contexts. This project will uncover new algorithms for these problems that are faster, more accurate and more revealing.

Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Scheme. Researchers in the NWO Talent Scheme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use. A total of 571 researchers submitted an admissible research project for funding during this Vidi funding round. Eighty-six of these have now received grants.