ERC Starting Grants
The ERC awards Starting Grants to talented early-career scientists, who have already produced excellent supervised work and are ready to work independently and show potential to be a research leader.
ERC Starting Grants in 2020
Dr. Rianne Kok - research project on lies in parenting and their effect on children's development.
For this ERC subsidised project Kok focuses, among other things, on the type of lies told to children. What makes this project so unique is that the focus is on "lying for one's own sake" and "lying for the other". In this way, for the first time ever, the project highlights a paradox in parenting situations: some parents teach their children that it is better not to lie, but they do lie themselves. What positive and/or negative effects does this have on the child's development?
Dr. Niels Rietveld - research into the interaction between genes and environments as an indicator of a person's social status.
For this ERC subsidised project, Niels Rietveld focuses on two main themes. In the first theme, Rietveld wants to show how hereditary studies - despite earlier firm rejections of this position - can be informative for policies aimed at reducing social inequalities. In the second theme, he argues that the effects that social science genetics attributes to genes should be attributed to the environments in which individuals live.
An overview of the two winners:
Comprehensive anatomical, genetic and functional identification of cerebellar nuclei neurons and their roles in sensorimotor tasks.
For this ERC funded project Zhenyu Gao focused on deciphering the anatomical, physiological and molecular properties of cerebellar nuclei neurons. This effort will eventually help to understand how cerebellar outputs are determined by their differential functional demands of sensorimotor tasks, and shed light on the cerebellar control of different brain regions.
Klazina Kooiman (Erasmus MC, Department of Biomedical Engineering) - Diagnosing and treating bacterial infections on cardiac devices with ultrasound and microbubbles
Bacterial infections on devices that support cardiac function such as a pacemaker, an artificial cardiac valve, or a ventricular assist device, are life-threatening and difficult to diagnose and treat. Dr Klazina Kooiman’s research focuses on developing miniscule gas bubbles that attach themselves to the infection. These microbubbles will vibrate when exposed to ultrasound frequencies. This makes early-stage detection of the infection using an ultrasound possible, and the infection can then be treated. With this new multidisciplinary technique, we expect to see a breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections on devices used to support cardiac function.