Prizes and grants 2017

NWO Zwaartekrachtprogramma
BaSyC (Building a Synthetic Cell) is een gezamenlijk project van TU Delft, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, VU Amsterdam, Wageningen University & Research, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en AMOLF.


NWO Natuurkunde Projectruimte 3,5 M€

Juan Rojo: Nuclear Parton Distributions from LHC Data
Building upon extensive expertise in the determination of proton structure, this project uses machine learning methods to achieve a state-of-the-art determination of nuclear parton distribution functions from proton-lead collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The goal is to gain more insight into cold nuclear matter and provide essential input for the heavy ion program of the LHC.

Wim Vassen: Probing new physics with ultracold helium atoms
With atom interferometry, with Helium atoms cooled to Bose-Einstein condensation, this project aims to test the theory of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) at its limits in search for physics beyond the Standard Model. The experiments should yield a fivefold accuracy improvement of the dimensionless fine structure constant α, which is important or testing the Standard Model.

Erwin Peterman and Gijs Wuite: Pump up the volume: unravelling intrinsically disordered regions of the protein BRCA2 with Acoustic Force Spectroscopy 
The VU physicists, together with Claire Wyman (Erasmus Medical Centre), combine in this project state-of-the-art expertise in protein chemistry at Erasmus MC with Acoustic Force Spectroscopy developed at the VU, to unravel how (un)folding and conformational changes in the protein product of breast cancer gene BRCA2 affect its interaction with other proteins.


NWO domain Applied and Engineering Sciences
Marloes Groot: InstantPathology
Physics in the freezer
Dr ir. I. (Iddo) Heller (m) 2-10-1979, VU – Physics of Living Systems
Many lifeforms can survive freezing conditions with the help of antifreeze proteins. The researchers will image individual antifreeze proteins in action to discover how they control ice growth. New insights can benefit applications like crop protection and cryopreservation.
(€ 800.000)


Super quality pictures through a tiny endoscope
Dr. L.V. (Liubov) Amitonova (f), VU - Biophotonics & Medical Imaging
Optical microscopy is a basic tool for biological research, but light scattering restricts imaging deep inside living organisms. Researchers will use advanced technology of light control in combination with unique fiber probes to create new optical methods for deep-tissue imaging with an unparalleled quality. 

Heating and cooling at the nanoscale
Dr. S.C. (Simon) Boehme (m), VU – Department of Physics and Astronomy
Tiny chunks of semiconductor material (semiconductor “nanocrystals”) may enable cheaper and more efficient devices. To enable commercialization of e.g. nanocrystal solar cells, LEDs, or thermoelectric devices, the applicant will study thermal processes at the nanoscale via laser spectroscopy. Thereby he contributes to the development of urgently needed thermal management strategies.