Vici grant for researcher Jaco Zwanenburg
This week, researcher Jaco Zwanenburg from the UMC Utrecht, was awarded a Vici grant by NWO, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. This 1.5-million-euro grant enables him to conduct innovative research and expand his research group for five years.
Jaco Zwanenburg, associate professor of Advanced MRI at the Radiology Department (Image and Oncology Division at the UMC Utrecht), receives a Vici grant for his research into heart rate as a source of information on the health of our brain. Whereas existing MRI techniques to determine vascular damage in the brain are limited to static, indirect measures such as infarctions, Jaco wants to change this by developing new MRI techniques that allow researchers to study the disease process at the level of the vessels themselves, and at a much earlier stage.
Heart rate as a source of information on the health of our brain
In recent years, thanks to an ERC starting grant, Jaco has developed MRI techniques that can accurately map the deformation of brain tissue with the heart rate. With this Vici research proposal he wants to take this further by also developing MRI methods to measure the deformations for respiration and vasomotion. Jaco: “The innovative part of my proposal is that I am going to link established seismological methods to the analysis of my MRI images. With this ‘seismology of the brain’ program, I will build a research platform that medical researchers can use to study and understand disease processes such as microangiopathy in a non-invasive way. The dot on the horizon goal is the development of new biomarkers that can be used as targets for drug development in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies.”
About the Vici grant
The Vici grant, together with the Veni and Vidi grants, is part of the NWO talent program and is intended for highly experienced researchers who have successfully developed an innovative line of research. The scientists are in the top ten of their field of research. In addition, they have proven that they can act as coaches for young researchers. The grant enables the researchers to further expand their own research group over a five-year period. In total 33 Dutch top researchers each receive a €1,500,000 Vici grant.