Veni grant for six young LUMC researchers

16 July 2018• PRESSRELEASE

Six researchers who have recently obtained their PhD got awarded a Veni grant of 250.000 euro from the  Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. They will use the grant to do research at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).

Four out the six laureates will do their research at the Gorter Center, which is part of the department of Radiology. Wyger Brink will develop fast computer simulations to determine a patientspecific safety margin at the start of the MRI examination, to maximize image quality. Safe MRI scanning is based on statistical models of the energy absorption, with large one-size-fits-all safety margins that negatively affect image quality.

Ece Ercan will develop a new imaging technique (CEST) for evaluating disease progression in multiple sclerosis. Nowadays,  administration of contrast agents is a common practice to determine disease progression. The new technique, which will use magnetic properties of the molecules inside the brain, will hopefully eliminate the need to administer any external substances.

Dementia and brain vessels

Sanneke van Rooden has developed a very sensitive method to measure early damage to brain vessels. Damage of brain vessels plays a major role in development of dementia. Now the researcher wants to apply this method in dementia patients to unravel the association between vessel damage and dementia.

The project of Susanne van Veluw also focusses on brain vessels and dementia. Extensive build-up of the protein amyloid along the small vessels of the brain can result in microhemorrhages in patients with dementia. Van Veluw will investigate the underlying mechanisms of leaky microvessels by combining state-of-the-art imaging techniques in both human brain tissue as well as mice.

Care that fits the patient

The fith grant was awarded to Marleen Kunneman, of the section Medical Decision Making at the department of Biomedical Data Sciences. She will investigate choice awareness as a prerequisite for care that fits well to patient goals and preferences and integrates well within their lives. After training oncologists in helping patients recognize that treatment options exist and that their input in treatment decisions matters, she will test whether this training improves how well cancer care fits within patients’ lives.

Precision pancreatic surgery

Finally, Sven Mieog from the department of Surgery got awarded the grant for his research on precision pancreatic cancer surgery. He will investigate whether highlighting of tumor cells during surgery will enhance resection. This is important because pancreatic cancer often recurs after surgery. The overall aim of this project is to achieve complete tumor removal and to improve patient’s prognosis.

Stay informed on the latest news of the Leiden University Medical Center, and sign up for our biweekly newsletter or subscribe to our LUMC Magazine.