Two UM nominations for 2015 New Scientist Research Talent

UM researchers Tamar Sharon and Yasin Temel have been nominated for the 2015 New Scientist Research Talent. They were selected from more than fifty candidates by an expert jury. The public can vote for one of these research talents from 18 August to 7 September on www.newscientist.nl/talent. 

The public vote and the jury vote carry equal weight in the final decision. The winner will be announced on 24 September during a festive ceremony held at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. He or she will receive €1,500, a book package, and an award. With this new award, the popular scientific journal New Scientist is giving young researchers the opportunity to promote their studies among a wider audience.

Philosopher Tamar Sharon (1975) obtained her PhD cum laude in Israel in 2011. She researches how people engage with new health technologies, at a time when they are increasingly expected to take individual responsibility for their health. Sharon has published several scientific articles and a book on this topic, and has been awarded the Mara Bellar Prize, a Rubcion grant (2012) and a Veni grant (2014). Her current research focuses on how people use self-tracking apps and wearable devices that allow them to track information about their health, such as physical activity, sleep patterns, blood sugar levels and calorie intake. She hopes to gain a better understanding of how people experience the use of these technologies in their daily lives, and how the values of autonomy, solidarity and authenticity are transformed in self-tracking practices. 

Neurosurgeon Yasin Temel (1977) obtained his PhD cum laude in 2007 from Maastricht University. He discovered that deep brain stimulation can be used to switch depressive behaviour on and off. Temel became the youngest UM professor in the university’s history in 2012. His current research focuses on understanding the symptoms of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Examples include slowness with Parkinson's disease and mood alterations with depression. Temel will use methods like selective electrical stimulation and nanotechnology to investigate the mechanisms that govern movement and mood. Regulating these mechanisms can help in the development of treatment programmes for patients. Temel has won several prizes, including the Young Investigator Award in 2005, the Henk Verbiest Prize in 2008, and the Scientific Trophy in 2011.

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