This year, five UG researchers were awarded ERC Starting Grants. They’ll each be given 1.5 million euros.
Four of the five researchers work at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE). Chemist Marthe Walvoort is getting the grant for her research on sugars. She wants to find out how sugars impact bacterial infections. She wants to visualise sugars on the outside of bacteria, which will hopefully lead to new ways of fighting bacterial infections.
Marcos Guimaraes studies magnetism. Magnetism can be used to make devices more energy-efficient, but this often makes them slower. Guimaraes wants to integrate lasers into magnetic devices that will convert the magnetic information into optic information, which would solve this problem.
Julia Kamenz is getting a grant for her research into the cell cycle clock, the mechanism that drives the division of cells. She wants to isolate its individual parts to better understand how cell division works.
Sandy Schmidt will work on developing new enzymes that will sustainably create nitrogen-nitrogen bonds. These bonds can be found in pharmaceutical, agricultural chemicals, or synthetic materials. Traditional methods of creating these bonds are intricate, expensive, and bad for the environment.
Robert Prey is the only humanities researcher to receive an ERC grant. He wants to find out how streaming platforms such as Spotify and social media impact the creativity, identity, and working conditions of musicians. He also wants to know how our culture is impacted by ‘platformisation’.