ERC Starting Grant
The ERC Starting Grant is a funding format of the European Research Council aimed at talented early-career researchers (2 to 7 years after their PhD) to realise their potential as research leaders. The project period is 5 years and the projects are carried out by the early-career researcher and their team.
ERC Starting Grants at the MIN Faculty
Prof. Dr. Michael Filarsky (Start 2021)
MalSwitch - Uncovering the Mechanisms Behind Adaptive Gene Expression Switching in Malaria Parasites
The malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum has evolved a strategy of clonally variant gene expression to control essential biological processes like antigenic variation and sexual commitment during its persistent blood-stage infection of the human host.
Heritable epigenetic silencing of the underlying specialized gene families ensures the limited expression of only a subset of these genes at any time.
Switching the expression of individual clonally variant genes enables the parasite to rapidly adapt to changes in its environment, evade the immune system and switch its cell cycle to the development of mosquito-transmissible gametocyte stages.
Dr. Manuel Meyer (Start 2021)
AxionDM - Searching for axion and axion-like-particle dark matter in the laboratory and with high-energy astrophysical observations
The nature of dark matter, which makes up more than 80% of the Universe's matter content, remains unknown.
Light axions and axion-like particles (ALPs) are well motivated dark-matter candidates that could be detected through their oscillations into photons in the presence of magnetic fields.
Here, complementary laboratory and astrophysical searches for dark-matter axions and ALPs are proposed that will cover more than 10 orders of magnitude of possible axion and ALP masses.
The astrophysical searches will focus on high-energy gamma-ray observations with the Fermi Large Area Telescope as well as current and future imaging air Cherenkov telescopes.
Dr. Guillaume Salomon (Start 2020)
FLATBANDS - Exploring strong correlations in flat bands
The concept of quasiparticles is a powerful tool to describe processes in many-body quantum systems.
Quasiparticles emerging as a result of fractionalisation hold great promise for fault-tolerant quantum computing.
Signatures of these exotic phases of matter remain sparse and mostly restricted to fractional quantum Hall states, despite being predicted to also occur in frustrated quantum magnets.
The EU-funded FLATBANDS project builds a novel strontium gas microscope to study both fractional quantum Hall states and highly frustrated magnets.
Dr. Christof Weitenberg (Start 2019)
ERC Starting Grant for the project: ANYON (Engineering and exploring anyonic quantum gases)
Dr. Christof Weitenberg (Department of Physics) receives funding of around 1.5 million euros over a period of five years.
In his project, an exotic kind of particle shall be studied: the so-called anyons, which do not fit into the usual classification of fermions and bosons. They shall be realized and investigated in experiments with ultracold quantum gases via a quantum simulation. Next to their fundamental interest, anyons are also relevant for applications, because they form the building block for future topological quantum computing.
Dr. Irene Fernández (Start 2017)
ERC Starting Grant for the project: FLUINEMS (Suspended Fluidic nanochannels as optomechanical sensors for single molecules)
Dr. Irene Fernández-Cuesta (Department of Physics) receives funding of around 1.5 million euros for five years for her project on the use of nanotechnology in the early detection of cancer. This project is done in active cooperation with the UKE (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf ) and other University Hospitals.
Optical nanosensors in a chip will be used to detect and analyse tumor markers and DNA in buffer and biofluid samples even at very low concentrations. The developed devices and methodology would be inexpensive and would provide rapid results with very high sensitivity.
Recently expired ERC Starting Grants
Prof. Dr. Henning Moritz (ILP, UHH, 2013 - 2018)
ERC Starting Grant for the project: MesoFermi (Mesoscopic Fermi Gases)
Prof. Dr. Henning Moritz (Department of Physics) received 1,2 million euros for five years for his project which made the generation of the first homogeneous 2D fermigases possible.
Experiments also provided the first clear evidence of superfluidity in 2D fermigases.
Dr. Franco Vazza (Start 2017)
ERC Starting Grant for the project: MAGCOW (The Magnetised Cosmic Web)
Dr. Franco Vazza (Department of Physics) receives 1,5 million euros for five years to study the origin and observational signatures of extragalactic magnetic fields, combining advanced numerical simulations and radio observations.
Dr. Franco Vazza is now a professor at the University of Bologna.
Jun. Prof. Annalisa Bonafede (Start 2017)
ERC Starting Grant for the project: DRANOEL (Deciphering RAdio NOn-thermal Emission on the Largest scales)
Jun. Prof. Annalisa Bonafede (Department of Physics) receives 1,5 million euros for five years to study the radio emission detected in galaxy clusters.
With the aid of new radio and X-ray facilities the DRANOEL project searches for the origin, evolution and the connections of radio emissions in galaxy clusters with the cluster dynamics.
The project's findings are relevant to the inter-connected physical disciplines of cosmology, astro-particle physics and plasma physics.
Jun. Prof. Annalisa Bonafede is now a professor at the University of Bologna.
Prof. Dr. Christian Klinke (2013 - 2019)
ERC Starting Grant for the 2D-SYNETRA project (Two-dimensional colloidal nanostructures - Synthesis and electrical transport)
Prof. Dr. Christian Klinke (Department of Chemistry) receives 1.5 million euros for five years to research the generation of two-dimensional colloidal nanostructures and their electrical properties.