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NWO awards three Veni grants to Faculty of Science scientists

16 December 2021
Scientists Philip Jansen, Julie Lattaud and Andrii Usachov from the Faculty of Science have been awarded a Veni grant worth up to 280,000 euros each. With this grant from The Dutch Research Council (NWO) the scientists can further develop their own research ideas for a period of three years at VU Amsterdam.

In total five scientists from the VU and Amsterdam UMC - location VUmc have been awarded a Veni grant. The three scientists from the Faculty of Science are investigating the following topics:

Identifying targetable mechanisms of insomnia in brain aging and dementia
Insomnia (sleep problems) is associated with aging of the brain and dementia. Whether insomnia is a cause or consequence of normal and accelerated brain aging, and through which mechanisms, is currently unexplored. Geneticist Philip Jansen (affiliated with VU Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC - location VUmc) uses large-scale brain imaging and genetic data to elucidate causal pathways between insomnia, brain aging and dementia.

Evolution of the biological methane filter in the Beaufort Sea
Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Yet, methane emission estimates contain large uncertainties, hindering accurate climate predictions. To better constrain Arctic methane release, biologist Julie Lattaud  aims to identify Arctic Ocean methane-consuming microorganisms. Using environmental archives, she will reveal how the Arctic responded to past warming to better predict future changes.

Search for spectacular signatures of light dark matter at LHCb
Physicist Andrii Usachov will search for dark hadrons - a new type of subatomic particles that can explain the existence of Dark Matter in the Universe. Dark hadrons can be abundantly produced at the Large Hadron Collider, leaving unique spectacular signatures in the LHCb detector.

Veni grants
NWO has awarded a total of 89 highly promising young scientists a Veni grant. Veni, together with Vidi and Vici, is part of the NWO Talent Program. Veni is aimed at excellent researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate. Within the Talent Programme, researchers are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative nature of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and possibilities for knowledge utilisation.

Read more about the Veni's on the NWO website