Three Rubicons for EUR researchers

Petros Kolovos, Sanaz Seddaghat and Wim Pouw will do research at foreign research institutes with a Rubicon grant from NWO. They will go to Copenhagen, Chicago and Connecticut. The Rubicon program gives young, highly promising scientists the opportunity to gain international research experience.

The researches will investigate the molecular aspects of cancer regulation, the influence of kidney failures on the brain and the role of hand gestures in supporting spatial thinking processes. For many scientists, experience abroad is an important step in their career. The awards are from the second funding round of 2016.

The scientists awarded funding can use their Rubicon grant to do research for a maximum period of 24 months. The size of the grant depends on the destination chosen and the duration of the stay. Each year NWO can award about 60 young researchers funding within Rubicon (for a total amount of 7 million euros, spread over three rounds). The Rubicon program is named after the river that Julius Caesar crossed in 49 BC before embarking on the series of victories that led to his famous pronouncement 'veni, vidi, vici'.

About the laureates

Dr Petros Kolovos, Erasmus MC: ‘Unveiling the molecular mechanisms by which PRC2 controls transcriptional regulation – Cell Biology’, goes to Denmark, University of Copenhagen, BRIC Institute, 24 months
Transcriptional regulation in normal cells and cancer cells is still under intensive investigation. The researcher will unveil the molecular aspects of cancer regulation by a candidate protein complex, so that drugs targeting the complex can be brought closer to the clinic.

Dr Sanaz Sedaghat, Erasmus MC: ‘Accelerated Brain Aging in Kidney Impairment; A life-course Approach’, goes to Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, 24 month
Kidney patients develop brain disorders faster and more frequently than the average person. Using a statistical 'life course approach' I will investigate how changes in renal function during adulthood can affect the structure and functioning of the brain later in life.

Wim Pouw, MSc, FSW: ‘Acting on Enacted Kinematics: The Function of Pantomime Gestures in Spatial Reasoning’, goes to University of Connecticut, Centre for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action, 24 months
It is well known that making gestures supports spatial thinking processes. However it is not clear how gestures achieve this. How the hands must move to solve spatial problems during the movements will be accurately observed during a series of experiments.


Publication date: 26 January 2017


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