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Two more EUR 1.5 million ERC research grants

13 July 2011

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded two ERC Starting Grants of EUR 1.5 million each to Prof. D.J. Slotboom (Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute) and Prof. A.M. van Oijen (Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials).

This makes the total number of ERC Starting Grants awarded to University of Groningen researchers seven in 2011, five of which concern research at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences). Last month three researchers were awarded grants as well.

The ERC Starting Grant is a prestigious European research grant for individual researchers conducting innovative research. The grant enables them to develop research programmes and appoint PhD students.

Prof. Dirk Slotboom (Biochemistry) will receive an ERC grant for his research project ‘Minimalist multipurpose ATP-binding cassette transporters’, in which 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.

Prof. Antoine van Oijen (Single-molecule biophysics) 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.

Antoine van Oijen also received a Vici grant of EUR 1.5 million last February, as part of the Dutch national NWO’s Innovational Research Incentives Scheme.  

Last modified:10 April 2018 09.36 a.m.
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