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Veni grant for Amélie Fréal

The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Veni grant to Amélie Fréal for her research into brain cell information processing at a molecular scale. She will receive a maximum of 250,000 euros.

Communication in the brain

Amelie FrealIn the brain, cells communicate with each other using electrical signals. These cells continuously adapt their communication to the changes in our environment. Amélie Fréal will use new genetic approaches to visualize with live cell microscopy how the molecules generating electric signals rearrange for efficient information processing.

Veni

Together with Vidi and Vici, Veni is part of NWO’s Talent Scheme. Veni is aimed at excellent researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate. The grant provides the laureates with the opportunity to further elaborate their own ideas during a period of three years. A total of 1,151 researchers submitted an admissible research proposal for funding. 166 of these have now been granted.

 

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Axonal Signaling

Axons provide the wiring to connect neurons, and generate and conduct electrical impulses, which are the fundamental operations for fast electrical signaling and information storage in the nervous system. In order to enhance the speed of electrical transmission, axons are tightly wrapped by multiple layers of fatty layers, called myelin, derived from glia cell types. Although myelinated axons play pivotal roles in brain function, only little is understood about the precise electrical properties, their development or electrical architecture. Using advanced electrophysiological methods, high-resolution imaging and computational methods, our group studies signal conduction in the neocortical primary axon.

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