The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Starting Grant to Prof. Gerard Roelfes of the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry. The ERC Starting Grant is a prestigious European research grant for scientists conducting innovative research. Prof. Roelfes will receive EUR 1.4 million over the course of five years, which will enable him to appoint three PhD students. His research into “Modular assembly of DNA-based systems; bio-inspired artificial allosteric assemblies” combines organic chemistry and biochemistry.
The research will focus on 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.
The grant of EUR 750,000 is for his project ‘The role of heterogeneity in controlling the geomechanical behaviour of sandstone reservoirs’.
The Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture Award is awarded to academics who have made exceptional contributions to their field.
The grant is for his project ‘Quenching the thirst for privacy: a system-theoretic approach’.
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