The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Vidi grants to Alexander Schönhuth and Matthias Christandl. They will be given the funding to develop their own innovative lines of research during a period of five years. The Vidi is one of three types of grants under the prestigious Innovational Research Incentives Scheme of NWO.
Alexander Schönhuth (Life Sciences group) was awarded a Vidi grant for his research project 'A Dutch encyclopedia of genetic variation', in which he will work on novel statistical methods that are most promising to reveal and categorize the DNA-related differences in the Dutch population. Schönhuth will use these methods to discover structural variants in terabytes of genomic data of the Genome of the Netherlands project. DNA differences between individuals influence the effectiveness of drugs. The 'encyclopedia' of Dutch DNA that will result from the project can serve as a guide for more effective, personalized medicine.
Matthias Christandl (Algorithms & Complexity group) received a Vidi grant for his research project ‘Efficient communication with single quanta of light’, aimed at designing more efficient communication protocols with single photons. In regular daily communication, information is being sent with strong signals consisting of many photons, such as radio waves or light pulses. Using single photons instead of larger pulses will lead to entirely new ways of communication as a result of the often curious quantum mechanical behaviour of these particles.
The Vidi grant is targeted at excellent researchers who have completed their doctorates and already spent some years conducting successful post-doctoral research, thereby demonstrating the ability to generate new ideas and bring them independently to fruition. The researchers are among the best ten to twenty percent in their field.