NWO awards Vidi grants worth € 800,000 to Marvin Tanenbaum, Aleksandra Badura and Merel Keijzer

1 June 2018

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) today announced the names of the  researchers who have been awarded a Vidi grant under the 2017 round. Among the 86 Vidi laureates are three Academy researchers: Marvin Tanenbaum of the Hubrecht Institute, Aleksandra Badura of the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, and Young Academy member Merel Keijzer.

The grants will allow them to set up their own research group and develop their own innovative line of research over the next five years.

The laureates will use their grants to study a variety of subjects, for example how the brain processes complex sounds and how computers can perform efficient calculations on enormous amounts of data and complex models. Other lines of research include the development of a toolbox for testing thousands of therapies for osteoporosis with just a single experiment and a computer system capable of crowd control during large-scale events.

Marvin Tanenbaum’s research project

All the information to produce the proteins that make up the human body is stored in our genes. Accurate decoding of our genetic information is critical to cell health. The project will use highly sensitive microscopy to reveal how accurate decoding of genetic material is achieved.

Watch the video 'Vidi-laureaten aan het woord – 2018’ (Dutch only), in which Marvin Tanenbaum, group leader at the Hubrecht Institute, briefly explains his research project.

Aleksandra Badura’s research project

Although we now know that several genetic defects increase the risk of autism and we have autism mouse models, the underlying causes of autism are unclear. At the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, researchers are using a video-analysis system, mini-microscopes, Virtual Reality and computer models to detect similarities in the behaviour and brain activity of autism mouse models.
Aleksandra Badura is postdoctoral researcher at Erasmus Medical Centre and affiliated with the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience.

Merel Keijzer’s research project

The world population is ageing rapidly. Research on healthy ageing is therefore a top priority. In this project, Merel Keijzer, assistant professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen, is studying the effectiveness of foreign language learning for healthy aging and as a treatment for mild cognitive impairment and late-life depression.

NWO Talent Scheme

The Vidi grant is intended for experienced researchers who have already performed successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. The Vidi, Veni and Vici grants are part of the NWO Talent Scheme. NWO uses this scheme to encourage curiosity-driven and innovative research by allowing researchers to submit their own research subject for funding.

NWO selects the laureates for their quality as researchers, for the innovative nature of their research, for the expected scientific impact of their research proposal, and for the potential for valorisation.