A researcher from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Wilfried Coenen, has received a Leonardo 2023 Grant from the BBVA Foundation in the area of Engineering for the project called "Fluid-mechanical aspects of syringomyelia".
Wilfried Coenen (Belgium, 1982) is a Senior Lecturer in UC3M’s Thermal and Fluid Engineering Department. His main line of research focuses on the hydrodynamic stability of jets and reactive flows, as well as biological flows in the central nervous system.
The project for which he has received a Leonardo Grant is based on the study of syringomyelia, a disease that produces an accumulation of fluid in the form of a cyst in the spinal cord, causing chronic pain and loss of function in the arms and legs. It is known that the movement of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord) is related to the development of this disease. In many cases, the channel in which this fluid is located is partially obstructed and hinders its natural movement. However, it is not known how this, in turn, produces a build-up of fluid in the spinal cord. The aim of Coenen's project is to generate knowledge to help in the arrest and treatment of syringomyelia, through theoretical models, numerical simulations and MRI measurements.
The BBVA Foundation's Leonardo Grants aim to support science and culture in order to promote projects by researchers and cultural creators between the ages of 30 and 45 in the intermediate period of their careers. In this edition, 58 personal and innovative projects will be made possible in ten areas of scientific knowledge and culture.
The name of these BBVA Foundation Grants invokes the inspiration of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) as a universal symbol of curiosity and passion for knowledge, openness and continuous exploration of new fields and problems, as well as dialogue between the fields of natural and life sciences, technology, humanities and the arts.