Women in science

Incentive Grant for Women in STEM for Dr Nitika Taneja and Dr Nilhan Gunhanlar

Erasmus MC researchers Dr. Nitika Taneja and Dr Nilhan Gunhanlar have been awarded an Incentive Grant for Women in STEM from NWO. This grant aims to retain women qualified in science, and to provide them with a stable launchpad for an academic career.

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Dr. Nitika Taneja is a Principal Investigator and Group leader at Department of Molecular Genetics, Erasmus MC Cancer Institute. Her group studies the role of chromatin remodeling and re-organization in suppressing DNA replication stress. Recently they discovered a new controller protein in the DNA replication process.

‘I am extremely delighted to receive this prestigious incentive grant award. Although STEM careers offer an opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation, these can be highly challenging, especially for women who normally face very significant work-family challenges while working in academia. This award is not only important for women for developing their careers but also is an instrument to drive out-of-the box innovations and fuel groundbreaking inventions. This award would be very helpful in shaping up my career as a starting young principal investigator in not only ensuring a stable but also advancing to higher position in the academic research sector.’

Nitika Taneja

Dr. Nitika Taneja

Taneja plans to use the grant for the development of novel technologies to study the dynamics of post-translational histone modifications at the DNA replication machinery at single molecule level. ‘Lack of novel technologies are currently the limiting factor in understanding the role of chromatin modifications in controlling cellular response to DNA replication stress. With the help of this funding, I will be able to systematically address and solve such outstanding fundamental questions in the field that could not be addressed earlier.’

‘The Incentive grant for Women in STEM acknowledges challenges faced by Women in Stem, supporting their high impact research’

Nilhan Gunhanlar

Dr Nilhan Gunhanlar is a senior stem cell biologist at the laboratory of the Thyroid Center. In previous years, she established new protocols for the generation of living human neural networks using induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) technology to model brain physiology and disease. Currently, she utilizes iPSCs differentiated towards different neural cell types to understand thyroid hormone signaling in human brain, with a specific focus on neuron-glia interaction. Her long-term ambition is to unravel the mechanisms underlying the neurological phenotype in patients with thyroid hormone signaling disorders and contribute to new treatments.

Dr. Nilhan Gunhanlar

Gunhanlar says: ‘The Incentive grant for Women in STEM acknowledges challenges faced by Women in STEM, supporting their high impact research. I am very proud to be awarded with this prestigious grant which enables me to take the next step in my academic career. This grant makes it possible to advance the understanding on thyroid hormone related neurodevelopmental disorders, with impact on both neuroscience and endocrinology fields.’

Incentive Grants for Women in STEM

The Incentive Grant for Women in STEM is dedicated to the sustenance of women in research and recognizes their potential in development of world-class talent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

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