Veni Grants

With a Veni grant, scholars are enabled to develop their research for the coming three years. Talented researchers are granted a maximum of 250,000 euros. In 2018, several scholars of Erasmus University Rotterdam have received a Veni grant from the NWO.

Veni Grants in 2021:

  • Carmen Embregts

    Immune therapy as a new treatment after exposure to rabies virus - Dr. Carmen Embregts, Viroscience

    "Rabies virus suppresses the immune system and symptoms only appear once the virus has reached the brain. Treatment is then no longer possible and all rabies patients (59,000/year worldwide) die. I want to understand how the virus suppresses the immune system, and test a new treatment strategy that restores and strengthens the immune response to the rabies virus."

    Veni is aimed at excellent researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate, and is part of the NOW Talent Programme. View previous EUR Veni-laureates.

  • Hélène Gleitz

    An in-depth look at the role of inflammation in early cellular reprogramming in bone marrow fibrosis - Dr Hélène Gleitz, Developmental Biology

    "In bone marrow fibrosis, normal bone marrow tissue is gradually replaced by scar tissue, leading to bone marrow failure and death. Recent data suggest that inflammation plays a major role in the development of bone marrow fibrosis, but the mechanisms remain unknown. This project focuses on addressing inflammation as a new treatment option."

  • Dora Hammerl

    Restoring immunity in aggressive breast cancer - Dr Dora Hammerl, Internal Oncology

    "For patients with aggressive breast cancer, there are no effective therapies. My preliminary research shows that a relatively unknown family of proteins makes it difficult for immune cells to reach and/or fight tumours. In my proposal, I will study the anti-immune activity of these enzymes, and test enzyme-neutralising strategies to increase treatment options."

  • Jeremy Labrecque

    Integrating causal bias analysis in cost-effectiveness research - Dr Jeremy Labrecque, Epidemiology and Radiology

    "I will integrate causal bias analysis into cost-effectiveness analyses, better identifying when plausible biases (confounding, selection bias) can easily alter decisions and when decisions are robust to bias. These methods will be applied to the cost-effectiveness of total knee replacement, perfusion MRI and BMI interventions."

  • Gennady Roshchupkin

    Explaining artificial intelligence to unravel the genetic architecture of complex traits - Dr Gennady Roshchupkin, Epidemiology and Radiology

    "We have learned that most diseases have a genetic component, but do not yet understand the underlying processes. With artificial intelligence, I will investigate the complex relationship between DNA mutations and human health. This will be the basis for the development of new diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic tools."

  • Frank Wolters

    Prevention of stroke and dementia by personalised treatment of 'silent' brain infarcts - Dr. Frank Wolters, Epidemiology

    "One in four elderly people have an increased risk of stroke and dementia because they have unknowingly suffered a stroke. In this research I take a closer look at these 'silent' infarcts to unravel characteristics and mechanisms that will enable personalised treatment against stroke and dementia."

  • Robbert Wouters

    Prediction of personalised clinically relevant outcomes: a new method for decision support with routine outcome measurements - Dr Robbert Wouters, Rehabilitation Medicine

    "Everyday clinical decision-making is usually not based on individual patient data, but on clinical experience and guidelines. Decisions are therefore not individualised and there is a risk of suboptimal decision making. I present a method for real-time prediction of individualised outcomes and costs, to improve shared decision-making and value for patients."

Veni grants in the previous years

Overview of the seven researchers who won a Veni grant in 2020:

Osteoarthritis becomes the most prevalent disease in the Netherlands by 2040, but its etiology is still unknown. This research combines all worldwide available hip osteoarthritis data to create a prediction model, providing novel insights in person-specific risk factors for personalised treatment and prevention.

An increasing number of migrants are reported selling their kidneys to enter Europe. This study investigates how, where and by whom the sale of their kidneys is facilitated and how exploitation of these migrants occurs.

Pompe disease is a severe myopathy, for which enzyme-replacement therapy is available. Despite treatment not all patients benefit equally well. This research uses a multidisciplinary approach to detect the factors underlying the variable response, and validate new outcome-measures, in order to improve therapy and tailor it to the individual patient.

Treatment optimisation in patients with ILD is achievable by detection of lung fibrosis and inflammation. The M-ILD study will quantify fibrosis and inflammation using innovative MRI techniques and develop a new sensitive patient-tailored monitoring platform of treatment response.

Is personalisation possible within large-scale screening programs? Ten Haaf’s research investigates how screening programs can consider an individual’s unique characteristics, such as familial history and comorbidity. Innovative models will be developed, which combine these individual characteristics with recent test results to enable personalised screening programs for breast, colon and lung cancer.

What does the meat on your plate eat? Huge amounts of feed from all over the world made Dutch factory farming possible. Haalboom researches historical changes in the origins of that feed and its global consequences for societies and environments. This is critical for present-day debate about the livestock industry.

Overview of the eight researchers who won a Veni grant in 2019:

More and more people are living in cities. To accommodate everyone, people are living closer to each other. How healthy is that? With the help of residents and innovative methods, the research identifies the impact of recent urbanisation in the Randstad in the Netherlands on mental health.

More and more people are living in cities. To accommodate everyone, people are living closer to each other. How healthy is that? With the help of residents and innovative methods, the research identifies the impact of recent urbanisation in the Randstad in the Netherlands on mental health.

For service providers such as ambulance services and roadside assistance, the service involves bringing the right assistance to a location as quickly as possible. Van den Berg is developing models to improve this service provision through improved distribution and allocation of vehicles across the region.

Prostate and breast cancer can be visualised and treated with focused radioactive molecules. The result of this can be influenced by previous treatments. Dalm’s research shows the influence of previous treatments and helps to determine when and in whom radioactive molecules can best be used.

Following the crisis, most central banks were given explicit responsibilities with respect to financial stability. This made them more sensitive to political pressure. Lambert is analysing the political dynamics around central banks and the impact on financial stability. The research uses new data sources and advanced statistical methods.

The quest for gender equality appears to be more difficult than at first thought, partly because of the hidden nature of stereotyping. Li uses behavioural-economic techniques to combat stereotyping. She will be introducing a new measure of stereotyping and the welfare costs of stereotyping, will identify the causes of stereotyping and introduce new techniques to reduce stereotyping.

Optimisation at times of uncertainty, such as schedules for public transport providers or protection from floods, comprise successive decision-making and information inflow. Solutions need to achieve high performance levels, and decisions need to be adapted according to the latest information. Postek’s goal is robust optimisation combined with machine learning.

Some people with a psychological disorder receive insufficient care, while others receive too much care. Ravesteijn’s research used the introduction of the Personal Contribution as a natural experiment. Using statistical methods, he is researching the extent to which personal payments can result in optimum access to mental healthcare.

Overview of the eight researchers who won a Veni grant in 2018:

Translating ‘big data’ into clinical improvement of neurodegenerative diseases

‘Big data’ has provided us with new insights into the underlying mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Even so, patients are still receiving the same type of clinical care. Dr Hieab Adams seeks to use new statistical methods to use data sets providing information on cerebral imaging and genetics – MRI scans of the brain that consist of millions of measurement points, for example, or tens of millions of genome variations. The objective is to be able to more quickly translate study findings into clinical treatment methods.

How can we gain control over the dementia epidemic? 

Dementia is a major public health issue and is well on its way to becoming the leading cause of death in our society. Although we are steadily increasing our knowledge of dementia, we have not yet determined the best approach to combating this disease. Dr Inge de Kok is developing an innovative microsimulation model that integrates our existing knowledge about the causes, development and course of dementia, as well as the effects of interventions. This increases our insight into the development of the disease and identifies which interventions are most effective when it comes to combating dementia. 

The interaction between different brain areas in autism

Autism is a common neurodevelopmental disorder, characterised by social problems and repetitive behaviour. Disruptions in cerebellar development or functioning can cause autism. Dr Lieke Kros will be examining how the cerebellum affects other key brain regions. How does this interplay contribute to autism? She will be recording neuronal activity from several brain areas during autism-relevant activities like social interactions and cognitive flexibility tasks. Her aim is to help identify new treatment possibilities.

Personalised care for patients with a thyroid disease

Despite treatment, millions of patients with a thyroid disease worldwide are affected by debilitating residual symptoms. In addition, these patients are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and mortality. This is due to the fact that it is currently impossible to predict the optimal thyroid values for individual patients. Dr Marco Medici wants to predict these values on the basis of – among other things – unique genetic markers and other individual patient characteristics. This project is expected to lead to personalised care for patients with a thyroid disease.

Customised or arbitrary care at the kitchen table?

The stakes are high at Dutch kitchen tables. So-called ‘kitchen table talks’ are being held in each municipality in the Netherlands. During these talks, citizens and professionals negotiate about care. Which care should still be provided by the government? And what can citizens do in a ‘participation society’? In her research, Dr Lieke Oldenhof will map out this new division of care responsibilities. The results will contribute to improved quality of decision-making in social district teams and theory development about values in the ‘participation society’. 

Hands-on or hands-off? Human behaviour in modern operations management 

Despite increased automation and robotisation, humans play an essential role in modern logistics. Also in the near future, human labour will remain pivotal in operations management. However, the influence of human behaviour in this domain is underestimated in both academia and practice. Through realistic experiments, Dr Jelle de Vries studies the impact of human behaviour and the collaboration between humans and robots on productivity, quality, and employee job satisfaction.

Food for thought: oxygen delivery to the brain

How does the physiology of the brain work? How can we measure this functioning as effectively and non-invasively as possible? These are the questions that specifically interest dr ir. Esther Warnert. She is developing and validating imaging techniques for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners. This enables users to gain greater insight into, for example, cell division processes or oxygen delivery in the brain and to map out the effects of conditions like a stroke more effectively. This will result in improved treatment for patients.

Locomotion and cerebellar modules

In order for normal movement to be possible, neurons that are involved in its control must both function correctly and be organised correctly. The cerebellum is crucial to normal movement and is organised in a very precise manner. However, how this organisation is created during development and how it relates to ongoing locomotor behaviour, is not known. Dr Joshua James White will study the development of the locomotor circuitry. He will use classical genetic as well as optogenetic manipulations to better understand the role of cerebellar organisation in locomotion.

New brain connections

Lovely sex or sexy love? A dynamic and dyadic study on the interrelatedness between youths’ romantic and sexual development.

Identification, Isolation and Analysis of Single Cancer Stem Cells

Unravelling the brain’s internal sensory and motor models of standing

Extracting more information from high-frequency data: Looking for signs of direction through Realized Semicovariances

General psychopathology greater than the sum of its parts? Environmental and epigenetic risk from prenatal life to adolescence

Self-Control without the Self: The Numerical Aggregation System and Overconsumption

Fatal first impressions?

New imaging technique sees the heart attack before it happens

Veni Grant

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