Organisation - August 23, 2011

AFSG bags three VENI grants

Wageningen University has bagged three VENI grants from NWO. The winning proposals were submitted by Sanne Boesveldt, Joris Sprakel and Tom Wennekes. All are researchers in the Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group (AFSG).

VENI grants are awarded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) to young researchers with doctorate degrees obtained less than three years ago. With very strict selection criteria, 'you need to be among the top fifteen percent in your field of specialization to stand a chance for the grant', says Henrieke de Ruiter, who coordinated the Wageningen applications.
Sanne Boesveldt of the Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour Group will do research to find out if the brains of obese people react to food differently from those of slender people, bearing in mind that the smell of fats in food plays a major role in eating behaviour. Joris Sprakel of the Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science wants to find out when a sticky contact gives way to an organic or a chemical bond. If more is known about this 'adhesive force', it would be possible to predict when it takes place.
Tom Wennekes of the Organic Chemistry Group will examine the role of sialic acid sugars in human intestines. These microbial sugars can be found in both healthy and pathogenic microbes in the intestines, but their role is still largely unknown.
More VENI grants could be awarded to Wageningen researchers later this year.

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