Twelve research projects will soon start with innovative research lines and new collaborations between various research groups in the first round of the ZonMw Open Competition. Amongst other things, these projects will work on improving immune therapies against cancer, the role of genes in ageing processes, and anxiety disorders and insomnia.

The projects will jointly receive more than nine million euros from this first round of the programme ZonMw Open Competition. This programme aims to create opportunities for outstanding curiosity-driven (groundbreaking) research. The funding enables excellent research groups to renew their research lines that contribute to health research. Another important requirement is that they realise new collaborations between different research groups.

Three of the twelve research groups have also requested funding within their projects for investments in infrastructure, such as scientifically innovative equipment. From 20 February onwards, funding in the programme ZonMw Open Competition can once again be applied for.

Projects with investments in infrastructure:

Biomechanical precision diagnostics in osteoarthritis

Project team: prof. S.M.A. (Sita) Bierma-Zeinstra (Erasmus MC), prof. J. (Jaap) Harlaar (TU Delft) and dr E.H.G. (Edwin) Oei (Erasmus MC).

Revealing HIV hiding places: functional characterization of the HIV reservoir in CD32a+ T cells

Project team: prof. B. (Ben) Berkhout (Amsterdam UMC Location AMC), dr A.O. (Alexander) Pasternak and dr J. (Jeroen) den Dunnen (Amsterdam UMC Location AMC)

TRIPLET: TaRgeted therapy and Imaging in experimental PLacEnTa insufficiency

Project team: prof. R.M. (Raymond) Schiffelers (UMC Utrecht), dr A.T. (Titia) Lely (UMC Utrecht) and prof. G.J. (Gustav) Strijkers (Amsterdam UMC).

Other projects:

Defining H3K9 methylation regulatory pathways in monocyte and macrophage function in cardiovascular disease

Project team: prof. M.P.J. (Menno) de Winther (Amsterdam UMC) and prof. M. (Michiel) Vermeulen (Radboud University Nijmegen).

Diaphragm protective mechanical ventilation in critically ill patients: the role of positive endexpiratory pressure

Project team: prof. L.H. (Leo) Heunks (Amsterdam UMC Location VUmc), dr J.T. (Tim) Marcus (Amsterdam UMC Location VUmc), prof. H.G. (Henk) Granzier (University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ) and prof. A.N. (Aart) Nederveen (Amsterdam UMC Location AMC).

Embryonic checkpoints - releasing the brakes on IVF

Project team: dr D. (Derk) ten Berge (Erasmus MC), dr N.C. (Nicolas) Rivron (Austrian Academy of Science) and dr E.B. (Esther) Baart (Erasmus MC).

Exploring Bacterial Cytological Profiling to find novel antibiotic leads

Project team: prof. L.W. (Leendert) Hamoen (University of Amsterdam) and dr J.C.N. (Jerome) Collemare (Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute).

Molecular engineering of healthspan extension leveraging genetics of aging-resilient animals

Project team: prof. E. (Eugene) Berezikov (University Medical Center Groningen), prof. E.A.A. (Ellen) Nollen and prof. C.F. (Cor) Calkhoven (University Medical Center Groningen).

Obesity during pregnancy: the role of the microbiome in maternal pregnancy and foetal complications

Project team: dr M.M. (Marijke) Faas (University Medical Center Groningen), dr S. (Sam) Schoenmakers and prof. R.P.M. (Régine) Steegers-Theunissen (Erasmus MC).

Optimizing the design of dendritic cell vaccine immunotherapies

Project team: prof. I.J.M. (Jolanda) de Vries (Radboud University Medical Center), prof. G. (Geert) van den Bogaart (University of Groningen), dr S.I. (Sander) van Kasteren (Leiden University), dr G. (Gerty) Schreibelt (Radboud University Medical Center) and dr M. (Martijn) Verdoes (Radboud University Medical Center).

REAL-HEARING: Real life measurement of the influence of hearing loss and listening effort on stress systems

Project team: prof. S.E. (Sophia) Kramer (VU University medical center), dr A.A. (Adriana) Zekveld (VU University medical center ) and prof. J.C.N. (Eco) de Geus (VU University).

REMOVE: Resolving Emotional Memories Overnight

Project team: prof. E.J.W. (Eus) van Someren (Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience) and prof. M. (Merel) Kindt (University of Amsterdam)

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