The 'Spinoza Prize' of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) is the highest Dutch scientific award, and for that reason is sometimes known as the ‘Dutch Nobel Prize’. Each researcher is given two and half million euros, to be used on an area of research of his or her own choosing. The scientists receive the prestigious prize for outstanding, groundbreaking and inspiring research. VU is proud at our five scientists who received a Spinoza Prize.
Yvette van Kooyk received a Spinoza Prize in 2019 for her research on in the field of immunology. She unravelled the mystery of how cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases (such as HIV/AIDS) are able to disrupt the immune system.
Piek Vossen received a Spinoza Prize in 2013 for research on how computers can understand language.
Marjo van der Knaap received a Spinoza Prize in 2008 for research on metabolic and degenerative brain disorders in childhood, in particular in the field of MRI of brains in the case of white-matter disorders.
Dorret Boomsma received a Spinoza Prize in 2001 for research on the role played by genetic factors in the differences between people in terms of illness, health and behavior.
Bob Pinedo received a Spinoza Prize in 1997 for research on the role of the growth agent in blood platelets in the cancer process.
Peter Nijkamp received a Spinoza Prize in 1996 for quantitative meta-analytical research into spatial economics in the field of urban development, transport and technological innovation, and historic buildings.