14 April 2021

Oncode Investigators Michiel Vermeulen and Lude Franke receive Vici grant

Oncode is proud to announce that Oncode Investigators Michiel Vermeulen (Radboud University) and Lude Franke (UMCG) will both receive the Vici grant of 1.5 million euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The Vici grant targets highly experienced researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research, and to act as coaches for young researchers.

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Michiel Vermeulen focuses on mRNA modifications and proteins that can interact with these modifications (so-called mRNA modification 'readers') to regulate gene expression during blood cell differentiation. Furthermore, his group will investigate how perturbations of these modifications and their readers can result in leukaemia. According to Michiel: “Within the Vici project we will develop and implement various new 'omics' technologies and an iPSC based model for blood cell differentiation to study mRNA modifications and their readers in molecular detail. I’m very proud of this grant and grateful for the support that the Oncode Valorization Team provided. They were involved in writing and editing the grant proposal.”

Lude Franke will use his grant to link germline and somatic coding and non-coding variation through gene regulatory networks. For mendelian and complex diseases the causal variants are usually very different, but his group has very recently observed that they can be connected to each other through gene regulatory networks. In this project, Lude and his team will study this in detail and will investigate how non-coding mutations play a role in cancer development.

Michiel Vermeulen (left) and Lude Franke (right)

Geert Kops, head of Oncode Institute, says: “The Vici grants for Michiel and Lude are a wonderful recognition of the important role they play in their respective research fields and an impulse for their innovative research programs. We are very proud that they are part of our Oncode community.”

Also see an overview of the Vici laureates here.

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