FWO FELLOWSHIP FOR THREE NERF PHD STUDENTS
Successful funding round for NERF
Three students secured a highly competitive fellowship to pursue their PhD at NERF. Lies Deceuninck from the Kloosterman Lab and Jasper Timmerman and Simone Marcigaglia from the Haesler Lab convinced the jury of their respective projects and receive a stipend for four years.
Lies Deceuninck's project entitled 'Keeping track of what to do: the contribution of hippocampal activity to short-term memory' aims to investigate the neural mechanisms that mediate the every day creation and use of short-term memories. She will use electrical and optogenetic techniques to record and interact with hippocampal activity in freely moving rats. In this way, Lies hopes to identify a causal link between hippocampal activity and short-term memory.
"I'm super happy and grateful for obtaining this FWO grant. I worked hard to come up with a project design that I believe in and I thank everyone, in particular my supervisor Fabian Kloosterman, who helped in the process. The feedback of the international expert panel that granted me the fellowship shows that they strongly believe in the importance of our research questions, the experimental approaches we use in the Kloosterman Lab and the great research environment that NERF offers. I goes without saying that this expert approval increases my motivation to continue to work hard and find answers that will help to understand how we keep track of what to do.'
In additon to Lies, who is part of the Kloosterman team, two students from the Haesler lab were selected by FWO. One of them is Jasper Timmerman, for his project entitled 'Synaptrode: neural interface at the synapse level'.
The third awardee is Simone Marcigaglia. In his project 'Development of a microfluidic device for interaction with the brain', he combines nano 3D-printing with a drug-delivery strategy to bypass the blood-brain-barrier. The goal is to create a miniaturized catheter for intracerebral infusions that will allow for both drug delivery to a pre-defined brain region and sampling for monitoring purposes.
"The FWO grant is a very exciting opportunity to do great research at NERF and I couldn’t be happier to have received it! I hope this grant will translate in a few years of eventful science and opportunities to grow."