Gravitation Funding (Zwaartekracht-subsidie) for Bijvoet scientists Ineke Braakman, Friedrich Förster, Stefan Rüdiger, Arnold Boersma, Peter van der Sluijs.

Seven consortia with top scientists from various Dutch universities will receive a total of 160.5 million euros. The Gravitation funding will enable these consortia to conduct pioneering research over the next ten years. Minister Dijkgraaf (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) is making this funding available for researchers from one or more disciplines who are working together in consortia. This fosters innovation, excellence, and the international positioning of Dutch research. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) carried out the selection process for the Gravitation programme. One of the two projects that are led by Utrecht University is FLOW.


Health is not a given as it often is challenged by the body’s own proteins. To prevent harm, cells have a vast quality-control system in place that supports and corrects proteins on their way to health but also removes damaging proteins. Failure of the quality-control system results in many diseases including Alzheimer, Parkinson, cystic fibrosis, metabolic diseases, and hemophilia. The FLOW consortium of 15 researchers will, for the first time, comprehensively chart the supervision of specific proteins within the cell, from cradle to grave. Ultimately, leveraging this understanding, they aim to exert control over the fate of these proteins. Such insights could pave the way for novel therapeutic approaches targeting diseases like Parkinson and cystic fibrosis. Ineke Braakman is lead applicant of the grant and coordinates the FLOW consortium consisting of Friedrich Förster, Arnold Boersma, Peter van der Sluijs, and Stefan Rüdiger from Utrecht University, as well as researchers from UMC Groningen, Radboud University, LU(MC), Twente University, and Wageningen University.

Further reading:
Utrecht University:  Gravitation award for FLOW: “We will be able to steer the fates of proteins”
OCW: Kabinet investeert in wetenschap op wereldtopniveau
C2W: Bakken met geld voor moleculair onderzoek

Radio interview: BNR interview