Vici grants for research on RNA, reading comprehension and sugar metabolism

Date of news: 14 April 2021

Three scientists from Radboud University and Radboud university medical center will each receive a Vici research grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

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 op their own research group. The Vici grant is one of the largest personal scientific grants of the Netherlands. In total, the NOW awarded 33 Vici grants this year. The recipients from Radboud University and Radboudumc are:

Dirk Lefeber: A system-level view on sugar metabolism – creating the basis for high-precision sugar therapies

Dirk Lefeber is professor of Glycosylation Disorders in Neurology at Radboudumc. Sugar metabolism is essential throughout our body. Still, the mechanisms differ per tissue. What is the reason? Lefeber will study the complete repertoire of sugar metabolites in muscle and brain models of children with a severe disease. The results will allow us to better treat these children.

Eliane Segers: Opportunities and challenges in comprehension of digital texts

Eliane Segers is professor of Learning and Technology at the Behavourial Science Institute of Radboud University. Her research is aimed at comprehension of digital texts by children. Reading digital texts from multiple sources has become the norm nowadays. Are children digital natives for whom this is not a problem, or can they no longer focus their attention, preventing deep reading comprehension? Segers will investigate this and develop effective lesson materials to promote comprehension of digital texts.

Michiel Vermeulen: Reading the epitranscriptome

Michiel Vermeulen is professor of Molecular biology, and will use his grant to further study the epitranscriptome. Recently it became apparent that RNA modifications play an important role in regulating gene expression in health and disease. In this project, the underlying molecular mechanisms will be studied in great detail during blood cell differentiation. Furthermore, aberrant RNA modification patterns will also be studied in leukemia.

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