You may have met Annemieke at the PPMD conference. She is wonderful and brilliant and committed to our sons.
NWO has awarded Vidi-grants to outstanding research and researchers: Annemieke Aartsma-Rus of Leiden LUMC The Netherlands wins the prize!
The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 89 young, innovative scientists a so-called Vidi-grant. Each researcher will receive a grant amounting up to 800,000 euro aimed at developing an own line of research and also establishing a research team for a period of five years. In total NWO will distribute more than 70 million euros to the winners.
Vidi is targeting outstanding researchers who have done successful research after the PhD. The researchers proved their capabilities to come up with innovative ideas and bringing them successfully and independently into a development stage. The scientists are among the best ten to twenty percent in their field. With the Vidi-grant they can do further research and establish a research team for a period of five years.
Annemieke Aartsma-Rus, working at the Department of Human Genetics Leiden LUMC, is honored with this Vidi-grant. Our supporters do know Annemieke not only for the great research she does towards a cure for Duchenne, but also of her lectures at Duchenne conferences, where she is able to explain results of academic research in layman's terms.
Annemieke is planning to spend the money in the following research area:
Genes do consist of exons (carrying protein information) and introns (not carrying protein information). Before a protein can be made from a gene, there is just a copy of the gene (RNA) being made. Thereafter, in the process called splicing, introns are being cut and exons are put together. The exon skip therapy invades the splicing process (ensuring one exon is left out). As the DMD gene is very large, limited knowledge exists regards to a smooth splicing process. Recently, a new method has become available for analyzing this major gene ultimately resulting in better insight into the splicing process of DMD. This will contribute to further optimization of exon skipping and potentially more complex exon skip applications (e.g. multiexon skipping and exon skipping for duplications) could be developed.
We are pleased and very proud of Annemieke and congratulate her warmly with this outstanding achievement.