Grants for João Silva, Sjon Hartman and Hebatalla Elnaggar

Three NWO Rubicon grants for Faculty of Science researchers

Joao Silva, Sjon Hartman and Hebatolla Elnaggar
João Silva, Sjon Hartman and Hebatolla Elnaggar

NWO has awarded a total of 16 Rubicon grants, among which three to researchers at Utrecht's Faculty of Science: biology researcher Sjon Hartman and chemistry researchers Hebatalla Elnaggar and João Silva. The Rubicon grants enable researchers who have recently received their PhDs to do research at foreign research institutes for a maximum of two years. The grant is intended to give young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience.

The current circumstances require appropriate measures. This means that the researchers awarded Rubicon funding in this round will only start their research when the situation is safe for them.

Hebatalla Elnaggar: The magnetism behind future ferrofluids
Sorbonne University (France), Institute of minerology, physics of materials and cosmochemistry, 24 months

Imagine that we could engineer the properties of ferrofluids on demand: targeted drug delivery systems and responsive magneto-intelligent materials will become a reality. The researcher will study bimagnetic ferrofluids in-order to unravel the magnetic interactions required to realise such applications.

Sjon Hartman: Molecular stress memory in plants
University of Birmingham (UK), School of Biosciences, 24 months

Plants can protect themselves against recurring stress by ‘remembering’ environmental cues. How do plants do this? The researcher aims to uncover how the memory protein VRN2 uses flooding signals to improve flooding stress tolerance.

João Silva: The role of cholesterol in Alzheimer's disease
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), Department of Chemistry, 24 months

Alzheimer's disease is caused by amyloid plaque formation in the brain. Plaque formation is correlated with the presence of cholesterol, but the molecular mechanisms involved are still unknown. This research will describe the interaction between cholesterol and amyloid precursors in atomic detail.

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