17 researchers who have recently received their PhDs can do their research at foreign research institutes thanks to a Rubicon grant from NWO. They will investigate, amongst other things, artificial intelligence for improved ultrasonography, Imaging muscle function in ALS patients, Printing living tissue through protective cell coating and new blood vessel formation.

The Rubicon programme gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience. Thanks to the Rubicon grant, these young researchers can do their research at top institutes like the University of Cambridge and Harvard University.

These 6 project will contribute to health research and development:

A healthy pregnancy for a healthy child's heart

  • Dr A.W. (Arend) van Deutekom (m), VU Amsterdam -> United Kingdom, University of Oxford, Department of Cardiovascular Clinical Research, 12 months. Birth-related factors influence the disposition for later cardiovascular diseases. Using new imaging techniques we will investigate how these factors influence the development of the child's heart, and whether a healthy pregnancy results in a healthier heart for posterity.

Imaging muscle function in ALS patients

  • L. (Linda) Heskamp MSc (f) Radboudumc -> United Kingdom, University of Newcastle, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, 24 months. In ALS patients, some muscles are frequently affected and others rarely. The researcher wants to understand this by using a new imaging technique to investigate the muscle composition and function of several muscles in ALS patients to gather knowledge for the development of treatments.

Printing living tissue through protective cell coating

  • Dr T. (Tom) Kamperman (m), University of Twente -> United States, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Shin Laboratory, 12 months. The 3D printing of organs offers new solutions for treating diseases. Unfortunately, many cells die during the 3D printing process. In this project, I will develop a protective cell coating as a result of which cell death during the printing process will be prevented.

Understanding new blood vessel formation

  • Dr T. (Tommaso) Ristori (m), Eindhoven University of Technology -> United States, Boston University, Biomedical Engineering, 24 months. By combining sophisticated computational models and experiments, I will unravel the interaction between different cellular signals regulating the formation of new healthy and pathological blood vessels. This research contributes to the development of new medical treatments for diseases such as cancer and ischaemia.

Artificial intelligence for improved ultrasonograph

  • Dr R.J.G. (Ruud) van Sloun (m), Eindhoven University of Technology ->Israel, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 12 months. The most important medical imaging techniques today, such as MRI and CT, are not sustainable. The machines are very large, use dangerous radiation or are very expensive. An exception is ultrasonography, but this does not provide the same image quality as MRI/CT. The researcher will deploy artificial intelligence to change this.

A closer look at the inflammatory response

  • Dr L. (Lotte) Spel (f), University Medical Center Utrecht -> Switzerland, University of Lausanne, Biochemistry, 24 months. Constant inflammation without a cause; often associated with fever, skin rash and joint pain. The researcher will investigate the so-called inflammatory diseases at the molecular level. She will zoom in on the working mechanism by unravelling which proteins switch on and switch off the inflammation.

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