Hannah Christie

Hannah Christie

‘Dementia care is heavily reliant on informal care, which is often associated with significant mental and physical stress in informal caregivers. Research has shown that online interventions (such as apps to organize care and online courses) can improve a variety of health outcomes in informal caregivers of people with dementia. Online interventions can also widen dementia service access to more remote areas, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. Unfortunately, current online interventions for dementia do not take a diverse range of user characteristics into account when developing and evaluating these interventions. This lack of tailoring and the prevalent one-size-fits-all approach is associated with the low implementation rate (less than 3%) of evidence-based interventions for dementia. Hence, my project proposes a solution that applies a socially committed perspective (intersectionality) to the issue, which will help bring these online interventions for informal caregivers of people with dementia into practice. We will use established theoretical frameworks in combination with innovative and creative methods (including the arts). This research is a collaboration between Maastricht University (Netherlands) and Nottingham Trent University (UK).’

Andrea Cortes

Andrea Cortes

‘The exposure to adverse events during childhood like maltreatment and poverty has long-term consequences, including a higher risk for substance use, self-harm, obesity, and poor social functioning. Importantly, not all children who are exposed to adversities develop these outcomes, and identifying which children are at risk is essential to create evidence-based interventions. Andrea Cortes will examine whether experiencing psychotic symptoms, like seeing things or hearing sounds that nobody else does, could determine why some individuals develop poor outcomes after exposure to childhood adversities while others do not. Andrea will perform this research at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland – University of Medicine and Health Sciences, with the support of the Niels Stensen Fellowship.’

Alena Kamenshchikova

Alena Kamenshchikova

‘Practices of infectious disease control have been historically organized and managed at the level of nation-states. The cross-border mobilities of humans and microbes that accompany them, as well as regions that are characterized by these cross-border movements, have remained at the margins of public health research and nationally oriented infectious disease programs. The project ‘Borders and microbes’ focuses specifically on the border area between the UK and the EU, which is manifested in cross-border points, such as airports, buses, and train stations, but does not constitute a coherent borderland. With the generous support of the Niels Stensen Fellowship I will apply methods of document analysis and in-depth interviews to explore how cross-border mobilities are practiced between the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and how can these insights be fruitfully applied within infectious disease control and cross-border collaborations. This study will be based at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in the United Kingdom.’

Olia Kanevskaia Whitaker

Olia Kanevskaia Whitaker

‘Trading with territories that are occupied, annexed, or otherwise disputed is common among Western companies. The legality of these economic activities has occupied the minds of academics and politicians for a long time; yet, to this day, it remains unclear whether, and on which terms, conducting business with these territories is permitted under the rules of international trade law. Furthermore, while discussions concerning economic dealings with such regimes typically take a political discourse, the commercial and societal consequences of the current legal rules are often neglected. This project inquires into trade rules and business practices for imports from territories that are considered occupied, annexed, or disputed under international law. Offering a new, practical perspective to trade with such territories, it ultimately aims to provide feasible policy solutions that would respect the applicable law while also considering the interests of businesses and civil society in these territories.’

Matthias Kramm

Matthias Kramm

‘During the last two decades, Rights of Nature have been implemented in many countries as a legal device to protect vulnerable ecosystems. In 2008, Ecuador became the first country to recognize the Rights of Nature in its constitution. As a Niels Stensen fellow, Matthias Kramm will focus on Latin American philosophies and examine their contributions for conceptualizing the Rights of Nature. Although mainstream Western philosophers have not developed an account of Nature as Mother, they are still able to engage with some of the concepts that underlie Latin American philosophies such as “taking care of Nature”, “being a guardian for Nature”, and “protecting Nature”. During his project, Kramm will examine literature from philosophy, Indigenous studies, and legal scholarship, but he will also visit various Latin American communities (Ayuuk, Tzeltal, Purépecha) to explore how philosophies are embedded in the lived realities of Indigenous peoples. The project will be hosted by the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), starting September 2022.’

Eva Mulder

Eva Mulder

‘A primary need of people who have experienced victimization or other types of harm is to share their story and receive an acknowledgment from others. Yet for various reasons, nearing an understanding of another person’s experiences can be incredibly difficult. A type of experience that challenges narration and understanding is the experience of microaggressions, an experience that is often questioned as serious or even real in both academic and public discourse. How are such experiences understood and communicated? Using narrative theory and method of analysis combined with experimental designs, Eva will investigate how stories of (contested) harm and injustice are told and heard, with a specific focus on the interaction between storyteller and listener. She will conduct her research at the University of Tennessee.’

Alexander de Porto

Alexander de Porto

‘Liver transplantation is an important therapy for end-stage liver disease. Unfortunately, graft failure is still common and can eventually result in re-transplantation or death. Recent advances in our understanding of graft failure have highlighted the harmful role of the innate immune response. Especially monocytes, an innate immune cell type, are suggested to play a central role. Also, the composition of micro-organisms inhabiting the intestines, known as microbiota, has recently emerged as an important determinant for graft success. Alexander hypothesizes that microbiota disturbances are likely to be an important instigator of monocyte infiltration into the liver causing graft failure. With the Niels Stensen Fellowship, he will research at the University of Chicago to better understand the interaction between the intestinal microbiota composition and monocyte infiltration into the liver resulting in liver transplant failure. This study might identify future therapeutic options to prevent graft failure in liver transplant patients.’

Lotta Pries

Lotta Pries

‘Researchers traditionally investigate the impact of individual candidate genes, epigenetic markers (i.e. mechanism that change gene expression without changing the DNA), and environmental exposures on psychosis phenotypes in isolation. However, this approach appears to be an oversimplified strategy that does not capture the complex etiology of psychosis. With the Niels Stensen Fellowship, Lotta will investigate the contribution of environmental, epigenetic, and genetic factors to the vulnerability for psychosis spectrum disorders.’ 

Younes Saramifar

Younes Saramifar

‘How do people remain to have hope in precarious conditions? Why do they still have hope even though there are no possibilities on the horizon? I pursue politics of hope and how people under conflict organize their lives around hope. Hope and ‘hoping’ is not necessarily a fantasy of the future that social actors orientate towards it. Hope is a mode of making-do that facilitates individuation, crafting ways of becoming sovereign subjects, and imagining new subjectivities in precarious conditions. My academic inquiries follow how hope blurs boundaries of life and death in everyday lives and upends the politics of hope administered by states or religions.’