Four outstanding research teams win the Ammodo Science Award 2024
March 5, 2024

Four outstanding research teams win the Ammodo Science Award 2024

The winners of the Ammodo Science Award for groundbreaking research 2024 have been announced today. The research groups Computational Pathology Group (Radboud University / Radboudumc), Past Play (Leiden University), the Lipidomics Team (University of Groningen) and Psychological Methods Lab (University of Amsterdam) are this year’s winners.

The Ammodo Science Award comprises a cash prize of EUR 1,600,000 each for the scientific domains Natural Sciences and Biomedical Sciences and a cash prize of EUR 800,000 each for the domains Humanities and Social Sciences. The prize money can be used by the teams to explore new research areas over the coming years.

The winning studies are:


Computational Pathology Group
Radboud University / Radboudumc

AI turns computers into virtual pathologists

The Computational Pathology Group is developing software models based on artificial intelligence (AI) that can help pathologists diagnose tumours. The group was one of the first in the world to demonstrate that AI can match and even exceed the performance of human experts in specific diagnostic tasks. The team is currently working on the world’s first virtual pathologist, ANTONI. This AI model is not only capable of making accurate diagnoses for conditions such as breast, prostate, and kidney cancer, but can also reveal the reasoning behind the diagnoses. This can help medical professionals make reliable diagnoses more efficiently and make the most appropriate treatment decisions for their patients faster.

Core team (from left to right): Jeroen van der Laak, Geert Litjens and Francesco Ciompi,



Past Play
Leiden University

How play brings cultural heritage to life

Past ❤ Play conducts innovative humanities research into contemporary experience of cultural heritage and how the concept of play can contribute to a deeper understanding of the past. The team discovered that when local communities are actively engaged with the heritage in their environment through play, a stronger connection to these places emerges. In addition, the team researches historical play practices, for example by having participants play board games from ancients times. This brings new insight into past playing habits and what experiences were associated with them. As a next step, the team will conduct ethnographic fieldwork in the Netherlands, Morocco and Jamaica to further map different gaming practices and approaches to heritage.

Past ❤ Play
Core team (from left to right): Aris Politopoulos, Angus Mol, Csilla Ariese and Sybille Lammes



Lipidomics Team
University of Groningen

On their way to a tuberculosis vaccine

The Lipidomics Team is studying lipid molecules to develop reliable diagnostic tests and effective vaccines against tuberculosis. With more than one and a half million deaths annually, tuberculosis is the deadliest bacterial infectious disease worldwide. Thanks to their innovative research, this group has gained insights into how tuberculosis bacteria survive in the human body using a clever trick to bypass the immune system. The team expects insights gained here to help them map other important bacterial pathogens. The next step is to set up a research programme on newly discovered lipids in the bacteria that cause typhoid fever, blood poisoning and skin infections.

Lipidomics Team
Core team: Adriaan Minnaard, Branch Moody (not on the photo) and Ildiko van Rhijn



Psychological Methods Lab
University of Amsterdam

Going beyond model myopia in psychology

The Psychological Methods Lab is committed to avoiding ‘model myopia’ in psychology, or the idea that only one correct interpretation of research data is possible. Instead, they emphasise the power of diverse models and argue that methodological diversity is crucial for reliable science. The team develops robust statistics to gain more accurate insights from psychological datasets. One example is their novel network approach to psychological disorders, in which symptoms and causes are viewed as a complex system of interactions between variables. The team shares their innovative models worldwide via JASP, their self-developed and widely used open-source statistical software package.

Psychological Methods Lab
Core team (from left to right): Denny Borsboom, Han van der Maas, Dora Matzke, and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers


Oda Barten, director of Science and Documentaries at Ammodo: “It is a real honour to present the Ammodo Science Award for groundbreaking research for the third time. And this edition, for the first time, to not two but four fantastic research groups linked to Dutch universities. Their groundbreaking research places them at the forefront of their fields internationally. Congratulations to the winners!”

Click here for more information about the winners and their research.