CWI researchers Nikhil Bansal and Roeland Merks have been awarded Vici grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). With the 1.5 million euro grant, Bansal and Merks can develop their own research lines in the next five years. The Vici subsidy is one of the largest research grants in the Netherlands.
Nikhil Bansal’s proposal, ‘Making discrete decisions in a continuous way’ will explore the rich interface between continuous and discrete mathematics. Many algorithmic problems naturally require finding an arrangement or structure in discrete objects that is optimal in some sense. Bansal’s goal is to design several new and powerful algorithmic techniques, that will be applicable to a wide variety of problems.
Bansal will perform his work in CWI’s Networks and Optimization research group. He is also affiliated with the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Roeland Merks was awarded the grant for his proposal ‘Mathematical insights into the repair of tumor vasculature’, at the interface where mathematics meets biology. Blood vessels in tumors are leaky and chaotic. The resulting poor blood flow makes cancer cells more aggressive and complicates chemotherapy. Using mathematical simulations and lab experiments, Merks will design strategies for blood vessel repair. Promising targets are abnormal tumor metabolism and the mechanics of fibers that connect cells together.
Merks is part of CWI’s Scientific Computing research group and he is affiliated with Leiden University.
The Vici grant is a funding instrument from NWO’s Talent Scheme. It gives senior researchers the opportunity to build up their own research line. NWO awarded a total of 35 Vici grants this year in all scientific disciplines.