July 5, 2023

Vidi award for Riccardo Levato and Karin Jongsma

Time for bioprinting

Riccardo Levato, associate professor, Regenerative Medicine Center Utrecht
3D bioprinting, which uses cells to recreate human tissues, could revolutionize medicine. So far, a bioprint is the end of the process. But for cells, it only begins then: they still have to mature into a real tissue after being printed. Riccardo Levato, who is starting this project “TIMESTAMP” from the veterinary faculty of Utrecht University, will develop a new generation of bioprinters that allow cells to continue to develop and grow even after printing until they are the functional tissues we need. “Printing living cells is only the first step toward making human tissues from the lab. I am going to develop technology that can assist and guide cell development to allow tissues to develop even after printing. In fact, I am adding the dimension of time to bioprinting.” To achieve this, Riccardo combines artificial intelligence, intelligent biomaterials and developmental biology.

The ethics of collaboration between doctors and artificial intelligence

Karin Jongsma, associate professor, Julius Center
In medicine, physicians are increasingly working with artificial intelligence (AI). The relationship between physician and KI is thereby described as a form of collaboration. However, we do not yet fully understand what is meant by this: is it like a collaboration between a boss and his employee, between a police officer and police dog or like between two equals? This project explores how we should understand this collaboration and under what ethical conditions collaboration between physician and KI can be valuable for medical decision-making. “That KI and digitization not only offer great opportunities but also require careful guidance from ethicists, among others, is clear to most people by now,” Karin said. “Especially in a context like medicine, that guidance is indispensable. I am therefore very happy that with the award of this Vidi I can contribute to better understanding and ethically guiding KI in healthcare. In doing so, we will specifically explore how doctors and AI work together, how we should understand that collaboration and its implications for medical decision-making.”


Vidis are awarded annually by NWO. Of the 551 applications, 304 (55%) were submitted by men, 244 (44%) by women and 3 gender neutral. A total of 97 Vidi grants were awarded; 54 to male candidates and 43 to female candidates. The grant allows laureates to develop an innovative line of research and expand their own research group over five years.

*substracted from UMC Utrecht webpage

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