Today Eva van Rooij received an Ammodo award from the KNAW for her research about the role of microRNA’s in the development and repair of heart tissue. Van Rooij discovered that miRNA’s are also responsible for the thickening of the cardiac muscle – a dangerous condition for the heart. This discovery also lead to van Rooij’s start up company miRagen which focuses on miRNA based medicine. Van Rooij leads a group of twelve researchers in the van Rooij groep. Next to this, van Rooij is a professor in Moleculaire Cardiology at the University of Utrecht/UMC Utrecht.
Both Ammodo and the KNAW attach significant importance to unfettered fundamental scientific research. To give extra stimulus to this type of research at the present time, they both decided to join forces and in 2015 the Ammodo KNAW Award was established. The Ammodo KNAW Award is awarded every two years to eight laureates who each receive a cash prize of 300,000 euros. They can spend this amount at their discretion on a fundamental scientific research project.