Gravitation funding for research on living cells and brain interactions

News - 12 May 2022 - Webredactie 3mE

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is awarding a 142.7 million euro Gravitation grant to seven top consortia. Of this, 20.8 million euros have been awarded to the living cells consortium IMAGINE! and 21.9 million euros to the national consortium 'The Dutch Brain Interfaces Initiative', which conducts research on brain interactions. Faculty 3mE researchers Frans van der Helm, Sergio Pequito, Alfred Schouten, Matin Jafarian and Carlas Smith take part in these two consortia.


Carlas Smith, researcher at the Delft Center for Systems and Control is participating in IMAGINE! (Innovative Microscopy And Guidance of cells In their Native Environment) with Elizabeth Carroll and Sjoerd Stallinga (both ImPhys). This research programme focuses on viewing and guiding cells in our tissues. The three co-applicants will contribute to the 10-year programme by designing new types of microscopes to bridge the gap between cell biology and the physiology of tissue. They will also develop smarter forms of microscopy that use light not only to take pictures but also actively steer the development of the living cells under study using a technique called optogenetics.

‘The Dutch Brain Interfaces Initiative’

The national consortium ‘The Dutch Brain Interfaces Initiative’ is led by researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen. Frans van der Helm and Wouter Serdijn (EWI) are the leaders of the Delft research project. From our faculty Sergio Pequito, Alfred Schouten and Matin Jafarian will supplement the team, who will develop computer models and microfabrication technology for the development and validation of closed-loop control of neural prostheses. These prostheses can give us back lost senses and control, allowing us to bypass injuries and treat an unprecedented range of brain disorders, restoring a better quality of life for the deaf, blind, paralysed and mentally disabled.

Read more about the Gravitation research programmes