The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 154 young scientists with a Veni-grant. Among these dr. Danai Riga working at the department of Translational Neuroscience of the BCRM in the group of dr. Frank Meye. She has gotten the grant for her proposal, ‘Keep calm and pay attention: a view from the inside’.

About her research

Stressful experiences are common in our everyday life. For example, taking an exam will inevitably stress us out. A ‘healthy’ amount of stress will help us choose between going out and studying for that exam. During the test, it will help us focus our attention and stay sharp, in order to answer the questions right. However, extreme stress will reduce our ability to pay attention to things that matter, and it will make us impulsive, taking decisions that we might later regret.

Riga: “My research will identify how stress is kept in check, to prevent inattention and impulsivity. For this, I will study in mice how stress changes the way brain regions communicate with each other during attention and decision-making. This Veni provides me with a unique opportunity to study the link between stress and psychiatric disorders, in a fantastic environment such as the BCRM at Utrecht University. My ultimate goal is to discover better treatments for stress-induced disorders. To this end, I look forward joining forces with Frank Meye and the rest of the Translational Neuroscience team!”