Debby van Riel of the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam has been awarded awarding the Beijerinck Premium 2015 for her research the way in which influenza viruses use the olfactory nerve to reach the brain.
Debby van Riel (1976) received a VENI scholarship to perform research at the Viroscience department of the Erasmus MC. Influenza viruses in the nasal cavity use the olfactory nerve as a shortcut to the brain, where they can cause inflammations. Debby van Riel is investigating how the viruses are able to do so and how they multiply in the brain. Moreover, she is researching whether that route via the olfactory nerve can be blocked.