Awarded projects

Vici 2020 – Medical research and care innovation (ZonMw)

List of Vici laureates (in alfabetical order)

Spontaneous and inherited mutations: different beasts or two sides of the same coin?
Prof.dr. L.H. Franke – UMCG – Genetics

Many diseases have a genetic basis, but cancer is often caused by mutations that arise during life, whereas other diseases are caused by genetic differences that are inherited from parents. This project uses gene networks to test whether a unifying principle exists that links these different types of mutations.

Hepatic bile acid uptake as a target to halt the fatty liver epidemic
Dr. S.F.J. van de Graaf – AmsterdamUMC - Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research

After a meal, substances from the liver (called bile acids) provide a temporary signal that lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood dampens inflammation and reduces hepatic fat accumulation. The researchers want to exploit this signal to combat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

A tissue-specific view on sugar metabolism – creating the basis for high-precision sugar therapies
Prof.dr. D.J. Lefeber – RadboudUMC – Neurology

Sugar metabolism is essential throughout our body. Still, the mechanisms differ per tissue. How can we explain this? The investigators will study the complete repertoire of sugar metabolites in muscle and brain models of patients with a severe disease in sugar metabolism. The results will allow to better treat them.

Dietary fructose and its effect on microbiota and insulin resistance in obese subjects from different ethnic descent.
Prof.dr. M. Nieuwdorp – AmsterdamUMC –Internal Medicine

The lifelong diabetes risk is quite different between Dutch citizens of different ethnic descent. The investigators aim to dissect interaction between dietary fructose and gut microbiota composition affects insulin resistance in obese subjects from different ethnic descent and if treatment with specific bacterial strains can provide a personalized medicine solution.

The evolution within us
Prof.dr. C.A. Russell – AmsterdamUMC – Medical Microbiology

We get flu again and again because influenza viruses evolve to escape our immune response. Simultaneously, our immune system evolves with each infection to attack new virus variants. This research uses new approaches to characterize exactly how our immune system changes upon infection and how these changes drive virus evolution.

We have been naïve about naïve T-cells
Prof. F. van Wijk – UMCU - Center for Translational Immunology

Naïve T-cells have long been regarded as quiescent, homogeneous cells, just waiting to be activated. Recent evidence challenges this view.  In this project I will investigate the diversity, and functional capabilities of naïve T-cells, as well as their role in chronic inflammation, aging, and stem cell transplantation.


Of the 44 proposals applied at ZonMw, 15 (34%) were submitted by women and 29 (66%) by men. Overall, 1 female candidate and 5 male candidates were awarded a grant. The total award rate is 14 per cent.

The Vici is part of the NWO Talent Programme. ZonMw is realising this round for the domain of medical research and healthcare innovation.

Award rates 2017 t/m 2020    
20175220 (38%)32 (62%)624
20185121 (41%)30 (59%)523
20194617 (37%)29 (63%)660
20204415 (34%)29 (66%)615
   Total    231112


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