Three new University of Groningen research grants#Brazil

Three new University of Groningen research grants#Brazil

Prof. Martina Schmidt (Molecular Pharmacology) and Dr. Matthew Groves (Drug Design), both members of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP), have been successful in a recent call for applications to foster research collaboration with Brazilian partners. Their projects are part of an agreement between the Brazilian and the Dutch Ministries of Education (responsible agencies CAPES and Nuffic). CAPES funds the Brazilian part of the collaboration and the University of Groningen covers the investments on the Dutch side. Goal of this particular call was the realization of joint research projects and the promotion of scientific exchange and the formation of high-level human resources in both countries. Only five Dutch applications were successful of which two were for GRIP researchers of the University of Groningen.

Prof. Martina Schmidt will strengthen cooperation with Prof. Samuel dos Santos Valença of the Health Science Centre, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). This scientific and educational network focuses on effective treatment for COPD and pulmonary fibrosis.

Dr. Matthew Groves will reinforce his collaboration with Prof. Carsten Wrenger of the Department of Parasitology, University of São Paulo (USP). The emphasis of this cooperation is on a novel drug target against the Human Malaria Parasite.

In both projects Brazilian and Dutch staff and graduate students will be networked into the collaborations that will increase academic tie between GRIP and the Brazilian institutions and lead to opportunities for further collaborations.

The research between Prof. dos Santos Valença of UFRJ and prof. Martina Schmidt will be further strengthened by a Science without Borders “Visiting Researcher Grant” (Pesquisador Visitante Especial, PVE) that was granted late 2013 within the Brazilian Science without Borders programme. The responsible applicant of the PVE grant is another colleague, Prof. Luís Cristóvão de Moraes Sobrino Pôrto, of the Institute of Biology of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ). This provides Prof. Schmidt with have the opportunity to spend one month per year over the next three years at her two Brazilian counterparts. An additional number of doctoral and postdoctoral mobilities is foreseen within this programme.

Prof. Schmidt is the sixth successful Groningen researcher to obtain this prestigious grant from the Brazilian government.