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2011

Starting Grants

Dr. Wesley Browne

Dr. Wesley Browne
Dr. Wesley Browne

Environmental impact, energy efficiency and resource sustainability places catalysis at centre stage in both fine and bulk chemistry. In the research program funded by the ERC the focus will be on sustainable oxidation chemistry – that is oxidation catalysis for fine and bulk chemical synthesis based on electrochemical oxidation, the use of H2O2 and O2 and environmentally benign, low cost first row transition metals. Dr Browne’s research into sustainable catalyst systems combines synthetic and physical organic chemistry with spectroscopy and electrochemistry in the search for new reactivity and for new insight into reaction mechanisms.

Profile page of Dr. Wesley Browne

Prof. Ellen Nollen

Prof. Ellen Nollen
Prof. Ellen Nollen

Prof. Ellen Nollen was awarded the ERC grant for further research into the role of the moag-4 gene (‘modifier of aggregation-4’) in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Earlier she had discovered that this gene regulates the aggregation and damaging effects of disease proteins during the aging process of cells. In her research ‘Protein damage control: regulation of toxic protein aggregation in aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases’ she will gain more insight into disease mechanisms.

Profile page of Prof. Ellen Nollen

Prof. Antoine van Oijen

Prof. Antoine van Oijen was awarded an ERC grant for his research into DNA replication, the process that is responsible for copying the DNA just before cell division takes place. In his interdisciplinary research proposal ‘Single-molecule studies of the DNA replication machinery’, Van Oijen describes the development of new physical techniques that enable manipulation of one single DNA molecule and the visualization of the behaviour of individual replication proteins on that molecule. These single-molecule techniques should help him discover how DNA is replicated and how errors in this process may ultimately lead to disease.

Profile page of Prof. Antoine van Oijen

Prof. Sijbren Otto

Prof. Sijbren Otto
Prof. Sijbren Otto

The research of Prof. Sijbren Otto is in the field of systems chemistry. It combines organic chemistry with molecular self-assemblage and self-replication.

The research will concentrate on new concepts in self-replication based on the mechanical fragmentation of larger assembled structures to create smaller structures. The resulting smaller structures will be able to grow faster than the larger structures. This process is expected to lead to exponential growth, whereby the product itself will function as a catalyst for the creation of more of the same product (known as self-replication). This is a new way to create macrocycles.

The research has potential applications in the field of molecular sensors, smart materials and systems chemistry.

Profile page of Prof. Sijbren Otto

Prof. Gerard Roelfes

Prof. Gerard Roelfes
Prof. Gerard Roelfes

Prof. Gerard Roelfes uses the ERC grant to study artificial allosterically controlled enzymes: proteins responding to changes in their environment by increasing or decreasing their activity. They are created by attaching DNA fragments to them. This makes them recognize and bind small molecules thus changing the proteins structure. They subsequently increase or decrease their activity.

This research may lead to biomedical applications. It can be used in systems that autonomously detect cell abnormalities and repair the damage.

Profiel page of Prof. Gerard Roelfes

Prof. Jan Jacob Schuringa

Prof. Jan Jacob Schuringa
Prof. Jan Jacob Schuringa

Prof. Jan Jacob Schuringa was awarded his ERC grant for his work on: 'Human leukemic stem cells: from identification towards targeting and eradication'. The central line in this project is the development of a mouse ‘leukemia clinic’. New treatments will be tested in a patient-specific way in this clinic. The ultimate goal of such studies is to develop a more effective method for treating patients with leukemia.

Profile page of Prof. Jan Jacob Schuringa

Prof. Dirk Jan Slotboom

Prof. Dirk Jan Slotboom
Prof. Dirk Jan Slotboom

Prof. Dirk Slotboom received an ERC grant for his research project ‘Minimalist multipurpose ATP-binding cassette transporters’. He studies how bacteria absorb vitamins. Although some types of bacteria can create vitamins themselves, many pathogenic bacteria – just like people – depend on the intake of vitamins from their food in order to grow. However, the mechanisms that people and bacteria use to transport vitamins into their cells differ. The research into the bacterial transport processes is fundamental in nature, but can in the future result in the development of new antibiotics.

Profile page of Prof. Dirk Jan Slotboom

Prof. Niels Taatgen

Prof. Niels Taatgen
Prof. Niels Taatgen

Taatgen has been awarded his ERC grant for research into how people can multitask better. His starting point is that people are in principle able to multitask, but that this can sometimes go wrong due to several tasks needing the same part of the brain at the same time. The project will concentrate in particular on the issue of why people seem to want to do many things at the same time, and what circumstances control whether this is safe and productive or not. To this end behaviour experiments will be conducted and computer simulations of humans while multitasking will be designed. These will then be studied with the help of MRI brain processes.

Profile page of Prof. Niels Taatgen

Prof. Caspar van der Wal

Prof. Caspar van der Wal
Prof. Caspar van der Wal

Prof. Caspar van der Wal uses the ERC grant for a research project that studies quantum optics with spins in semiconductor devices. Spins of electrons and nuclei in semiconductors behave quantum mechanically. This means that –in principle- spins in two different semiconductor pieces at different locations can be in a single quantum state. The behavior of the spins is then linked in a manner that is impossible with classical physics (a phenomenon that is known from the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox). However, with semiconductors this has never been observed because interactions with the material disturb the quantum mechanical behavior (a process that is known as quantum decoherence), and this is not yet fully understood. The research of Caspar van der Wal will use interactions between spins and quantum optical pulses. This can be used for preparing very pure spin states and tests of quantum behavior at an unprecedented level.  

These research investigations may find application in communication for which eavesdropping is impossible. This is for example useful for credit card payments on the Internet. Modern communication occurs in optical fiber networks, with semiconductor memory elements at the nodes of the network. If one uses a network with spins and quantum light eavesdropping can be made impossible since information is then protected by the fundamental laws of quantum mechanics.

Profile page of Prof. Caspar van der Wal

Advanced Grants

Prof. Liesbeth de Vries

Prof. Liesbeth de Vries
Prof. Liesbeth de Vries

Prof. Liesbeth de Vries received EUR 2.5 million for her research project OnQview, which involves studying the application of non-radioactive molecular imaging of tumor lesions for selecting the most suitable anti-cancer drugs.

Many new drugs are becoming available in the fight against cancer. The challenge for the future is how to use them to the greatest effect. De Vries, who is head of the Medical Oncology department at the UMCG, has been awarded the ERC funding to develop an integrated strategy for this purpose, using tumor imaging. She is working on this with Professor Jennifer Herek of the University of Twente.

The ultimate aim of the strategy is to select the patients who benefit from new drugs. The research involves the study of early effects of medication on tumor cells.

Profile page of Prof. Liesbeth de Vries

Prof. Thijs van der Hulst

Prof. Thijs van der Hulst
Prof. Thijs van der Hulst

The research project of Prof. Thijs van der Hulst aims at unraveling the role neutral hydrogen plays in the evolution of galaxies by using the new wide field radio camera APERTIF on the Westerbork radio telescope. APERTIF is able to scan large areas of the Northern Sky for the signals of neutral hydrogen from thousands of galaxies in the nearby Universe.

The revolutionary radio camera APERTIF widens the existing field-of-view of the telescope by more than a factor 30. This enables collecting data for several thousands of galaxies instead of just a few hundred. APERTIF was developed by the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON). Astronomers at the Kapteyn Institute are working closely with ASTRON to prepare the science programme for APERTIF. They build upon a long tradition of using radio telescopes to image the neutral hydrogen in galaxies.

Profile page of Prof. Thijs van der Hulst

Prof. Peter Lansdorp

Prof. Peter Lansdorp
Prof. Peter Lansdorp

Prof. Peter Lansdorp’s main research interest is telomeres – pieces of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes. Lansdorp wants to gain a better understanding of the regulation of regeneration and maturation of stem cells. In addition, he researches the role of accelerated shortening of telomeres and numerical chromosomal abnormalities in ageing processes. For this, he uses new DNA sequencing technology.

Profile page of Prof. Peter Lansdorp

Proof of Concept Grants

Prof. Andreas Herrmann

Prof. Andreas Herrmann
Prof. Andreas Herrmann

Professor at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Project: 'DNA Block Copolymers: New Architectures and Applications'.

> Staff page of Andreas Herrmann
> About the research group Polymer Chemistry and Bioengineering

Dr. Armagan Kocer

Dr. Armagan Kocer
Dr. Armagan Kocer

Assistant Professor at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute. Project: Commercial feasibility of triggered liposomal drug delivery by means of Modulated Channels

Profile page of Dr. Armagan Kocer

Laatst gewijzigd:09 augustus 2018 16:04