Three CNCR researchers each awarded a VIDI grant
Rik van der Kant, Natalia Goriounova and Priyanka Rao-Ruiz, researchers at the Center for Neurogenomics & Cognitive Research at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, have been awarded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) with a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros.
The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 101 experienced researchers a Vidi grant. The grant will enable them to develop their own innovative line of research over the next five years and set up a research group.
Rik van der Kant: Bad fat? Improving lipid metabolism to treat Alzheimer’s disease
Functional Genomics department (FGA)
Genetic risk factors that increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease have a major role in brain fat metabolism and immune function. This research will investigate how fat accumulation in the brain contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and will develop new pharmaceutical interventions that can prevent or treat the disease.
Natalia Goriounova: Fast neurons of our cognition
Department of Integrative Neurophysiology (INF lab)
Our ability to think, reason, solve problems, depends on the activity of neurons in our brain. Recent studies show that our neurons can generate fast signals to process large amount of information, but the mechanisms behind this fast signalling are unknown. This research will study how specialized types of human neurons generate and maintain fast signals. By looking at gene expression in these neurons we will understand how these neurons achieve fast computation and link to cognition.
Priyanka Rao-Ruiz: Unravelling the synaptic code of memory
Department of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology (MCN)
Memory formation and its storage requires strengthening of connections between sparsely distributed neurons that are activated at the time of learning. In this project, researchers will causally pinpoint and connect the neurobiological processes that underlie and regulate this strengthening, in order to identify the precise synaptic code of successful memory formation.