Biomedical Sciences

Jeroen Geurts Laureate 2017

Jeroen Geurts was a pioneer in tracking difficult to detect abnormalities in the brains of MS patients. In the course of this work he came up with a new theory about the cause of MS, one which fundamentally differs from the theory that most of his colleagues have adhered to for many years.

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Eva van Rooij Laureate 2017

Eva van Rooij was the first person to discover that microRNA molecules, components of living cells which have only recently been discovered, play a role in heart diseases. She is now investigating other molecular mechanisms that affect our cardiac cells. Is it possible to influence these so as to limit damage to such cells or even reverse it?

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Caroline Klaver Laureate 2015

Eye-diseases are rapidly becoming more significant: there are already more than 300,000 blind and visually impaired people in the Netherlands. Due to the aging population this number will increase explosively in the coming years. Caroline Klaver is a scientific researcher and ophthalmologist, and a driving force behind research into the root causes of some of the most common eye problems.

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Thijn Brummelkamp Laureate 2015

Thijn Brummelkamp is an energetic, critical and entrepreneurial scientist researching the function of each of the approximately 25,000 genes in the human body. He began by developing a way to turn off each of these genes one by one. Then he invented an even smarter method to do the same with a number of genes at the same time.

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Humanities

Olivier Hekster Laureate 2017

Olivier Hekster revisits the labelling of Roman Emperors such as Nero, Caligula and Commodus as ‘mad’ by looking at their use of the mass-media of antiquity: effigies on coins, statues and inscriptions on buildings. How did these Emperors attempt to establish their power over their vast empire using such communications?

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Alicia Montoya Laureate 2017

Through studying 18th-century library sales catalogues, Alicia Montoya discovered that at a time when the Enlightenment changed thinking in Europe, religious books were still the biggest sellers. She questions what the impact of the philosophical transformation was amongst the wider population, outside the small circle of the intellectual elite. Has the hegemony of knowledge and reason been overstated?

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Barteld Kooi Laureate 2015

Philosopher Barteld Kooi combines almost impenetrable abstract information science with everyday applications such as card games and the National Science Quiz. His work focuses on transcribing complex information problems into mathematical formulas. Which logical strategy in a game gives the best outcome? And what happens if in addition to logic probability also comes into play?

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Asifa Majid Laureate 2015

Why are we so bad at describing what we smell? Why do we have words for colours but not for scents? Have we lost that capability in evolution? Or is it due to our upbringing? Asifa Majid undertakes innovative fieldwork among various cultures and peoples to find new answers to questions about connections between brains, language and culture.

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Natural Sciences

Appy Sluijs Laureate 2017

Appy Sluijs discovered that 56 million years ago, due to a chain-reaction in the oceans and the atmosphere, there was a rise in the greenhouse effect on the Earth. Palm trees grew at the poles and the Arctic Ocean became as warm as a subtropical swimming pool. Could something similar happen again?

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Guido van der Werf Laureate 2017

Guido van der Werf researches the amount of greenhouse gases that are entering the atmosphere because of the burning of forests, grasslands and peat bogs. With the help of models, satellite photos and drones he charts the contributions of burning, deforestation and the expansion of agricultural land on the greenhouse effect.

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Ronald Hanson Laureate 2015

In the legendary science fiction film Star Trek Captain Kirk is teleported home from far away in the universe by his chief engineer "Scotty". Physicists, including Ronald Hanson, have been trying to do something vaguely similar. "Quantum teleportation," is an experiment by which information is transferred without the use of sound, light or any other form of energy.

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Arwen Deuss Laureate 2015

Under a thin hard crust planet Earth is a sphere within which liquid rock slowly flows around. But inside the flowing mass a hard globe has been discovered. It was suspected that such a thing existed but the evidence for it was only delivered when Arwen Deuss succeeded in picking up and analysing weak but characteristic seismic waves.

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Social Sciences

Roshan Cools Laureate 2017

Roshan Cools discovered that medicines which affect our brains do not always have the same effect: a substance that increases concentration in a person’s brain, can actually reduce the flexibility of that brain. For someone else the effects may be the opposite. Cools is searching for the brain mechanisms behind something that has preoccupied philosophers throughout the ages: human will power.

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Eveline Crone Laureate 2017

Eveline Crone discovered that not every part of the human brain develops at the same time. In puberty brain centers determining emotions develop more quickly than those which control rational decision making. This helps explain unrestrained, irresponsible and risky adolescent behaviour. How does the adolescent brain use this turbulent phase to learn to take creative but balanced decisions?

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Serge Dumoulin Laureate 2015

Which nerves connect our senses with our cerebral cortex? How do our brains become conscious of sensory stimuli? And how does that ultimately result in an understanding of what is happening around us? These are the kind of questions that Serge Dumoulin is engaged in, and which put him on the trail of a congenital abacus in our brain.

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Frank van Tubergen Laureate 2015

Why do we often choose friends and partners with the same ethnic background? What is the impact of this segregation on social opportunities? Why is America's income inequality much greater than that in Europe? These are the very topical questions that fascinate Frank van Tubergen and for which he seeks scientific and not ideological answers.

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