Vici-grants for research into drugs, atoms and stress

Brigitte Adriaensen and Alexander Khajetoorians of Radboud University and Erno Hermans of Radboudumc will each receive a Vici-research grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

After NWO announced the recipients of the Vici-grant in the TTW and ZonMW last month, today’s announcement focuses on the recipients in the domains of Exact and Natural Sciences (ENW) and the Humanities and Social Sciences (SGW).  The researchers will be able to use the 1.5 million euro from the grant to conduct research over the next five years and build up their own research group.

Poison, Medicine or Magic Potion? Shifting Perspectives on Drugs in Latin America (1820-2020)

Brigitte Adriaensen, Radboud University

Drugs play a key role in the cultural history of Latin America. They have fascinated travelers from Europe and North-America, but also within Latin America drugs have always been a popular subject. This project focuses on ayahuasca, peyote and coca(ine), the main psychoactive plants from the continent, intimately linked to different Latin American Indigenous cultures.

The researchers analyze written and oral sources from Latin America, Europe and the United States, but also rituals and exhibitions on these substances. The aim is to better understand the changing perceptions of drugs and to give Indigenous perspectives a central place within drug studies.

What can we ‘learn’ with atoms?

Alexander Khajetoorians, Radboud University

In this program, the researchers investigate how the quantum nature of intertwined and interacting atoms can be used in creating materials that mimic the computational principles of the brain. This will be performed using the highest resolution microscopes in the country.

Building stress resilience

Erno Hermans, Radboud University Medical Center/Donders Institute

Although stress-related mental health problems are common, the vast majority of people have good resilience to stress. We also know that some people become mentally stronger after stressful life events. This research aims to understand how people build this resilience. How do our brains change after stressful experiences? How do resilient people differ from vulnerable people? Can we predict who gains mental strength following stressful experiences?

Based on answers to these questions, this project will develop new interventions that train people to become more resilient. In this way stress-related complaints can be prevented rather than treated.

For more information, contact:

  • Science Communication at Radboud University, media [at] (media[at]ru[dot]nl), 024 361 6000

Contact information

History, Brain, Molecules and materials