News

Veni grant for promising research on computer-aided drug discovery platform

Published on
November 6, 2020

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded eight young Wageningen researchers a Veni grant worth up to 250,000 euros. One of these researchers, Mohammad Alanjary, is affiliated with the Wageningen Plant Sciences Group. The grant provides the laureates with the opportunity to further elaborate their own research ideas during a period of three years. The Veni laureates will conduct their research on a variety of subjects.

The research of dr. Mohammad Alanjary focuses on a computer-aided drug discovery platform that develops and explores modular peptide synthetases. Redesigning natural molecules is a challenging yet rewarding goal, with applications in agriculture, bio-sustainability and medicine. Alanjary's research aims to develop new computational methods to enable re-design of microbial compounds by exploiting recent structural insights into protein function and leveraging vast genomic databases in an automated workflow.

The Veni is awarded by NWO every year. A total of 1,127 researchers submitted an admissible research proposal for funding. On the national level 162 of these have now been granted. The submissions were assessed by means of peer review by external experts from the disciplines concerned. NWO selected the proposed research projects based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use.

Together with Vidi and Vici, Veni is part of the NWO Talent Programme. Veni is aimed at excellent researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate. Researchers in the Talent Programme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research.