Photo of Jonathan Tan, Andrew Ewing and Susanne Aalto.
​Jonathan Tan, Andrew Ewing and Susanne Aalto each received an ERC Advanced Grant.
​Foto: Johan Bodell

Three ERC Advance Grants goes to researchers at Chalmers

The European Research Council has today released the list of selected researchers to receive the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. Three out of the ten Swedish researchers who receives funding are working at Chalmers University of Technology. Jonathan Tan, Andrew Ewing and Susanne Aalto thus receive 2.5 million euros each for their research.

The prestigious research grants will encourage the best, most creative researchers to be even more adventurous and take risks in their research. 2,166 researchers from across Europe had applied for an ERC Advanced Grant in the latest announcement. A total of 269 world-class researchers around Europe today get to shared 653 million euros. 17 percent of the funds have gone to female researchers, which corresponds to the proportion of female applicants.

Exploring the hidden nuclei of galaxies

Susanne Aalto, professor in radio astronomy och head of the division Astronomy and Plasma Physics, is one of two astronomers at Chalmers University of Technology who received an ERC Advanced Grant. She is also the first woman at Chalmers with an ERC Advanced Grant. In the HIDDeN project, her research team will explore how supermassive black holes - like the one in the middle of the Milky Way - grow together with their host galaxies.
 
"If you want to understand how the universe develops, you must understand the development of galaxies. We have discovered extremely dust-embedded galaxy nuclei that are invisible, both in normal light and in infrared radiation. We believe that they hide a thus-far unknown, compact and very transient phase of growth," says Susanne Aalto.
 
 

He will develop new methods to study brain cells

Andrew Ewing, professor in analytic chemistry, is the first researcher at Chalmers to receive a second ERC Grant. His research will give greater insight into the chemical processes of brain cells and may lay the groundwork for new ways to cure brain-related diseases where short-term memory is affected. In the new project will his research group chart the role of secretion of neurotransmitters in our memory process. Signal substances in the brain are the molecules that cells use to communicate and send nerve signals to each other.
 
"This can give us tools to understand the processes that are affected in diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, adding a new pharmaceutical target by regulating individual vesicles and how they open," says Andrew Ewing.
 
 

A star is born – but how?

Jonathan Tan, professor in Astrophysics, also received an ERC Advanced Grant. Massive Star Formation Through the Universe, his research group will focus on massive star formation - in current times, as well as in the very early times after the Big Bang. He hopes to be able to use their results to better understand the complete life cycle of stars, star clusters and the interstellar medium in galaxies. 
 
"Without massive stars, life as we know it would not be possible, since many important chemical elements are created in massive stars and released into the universe when they ultimately explode in supernovae. We hope to answer some of the numerous open questions about the birth of massive stars in this project," says Jonathan Tan.
 
 
 
 
 

Published: Fri 06 Apr 2018.