The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of 218 Advanced Grants to outstanding research leaders across Europe, as part of the Horizon Europe programme. Two of which go to UT researchers Robert Passier and Detlef Lohse. The latter receives his third ERC Advanced Grant. The 218 grants - totalling €544 million - support cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, from medicine and physics to social sciences and humanities.
Prof. Dr. Robert Passier – Heart2Beat
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. Current traditional experimental in vitro and animal models for studying it are not effective enough to develop new treatments. That's why Heart2Beat is creating advanced 3D human cardiac models using innovative technology, including human stem cell biology and engineering.
Passier’s goal is to create a functional human mini-heart that is able to actually pump fluid like a real heart. This and other first-of-its-kind advanced 3D human cardiac models and platforms can be used for (ultra)high throughput screening and in-depth multifunctional pre-clinical analysis of healthy and diseased heart tissues. This will enable us to better understand cardiovascular diseases and identify druggable targets. Successful implementation of this cutting-edge research will lead to personalized medicine and better treatments for patients suffering from heart disease.
Prof. Dr. Detlef Lohse - MultiMelt
Too little is known about the physics of melting and dissolution in liquid systems. Melting objects create differences in temperature and concentration in liquids. These act back on the melting or dissolving objects, including on their shapes, implying that such systems are extremely complex, namely multicomponent, multiphase, and with phase transitions.
A particular relevant example for these types of systems are melting icebergs or glaciers. Current models of melting glaciers and icebergs are off by more than an order of magnitude, not reflecting the observed very fast melting process. With the changing climate, it is essential to understand how these processes work, so that we can better predict and manage their impact on the environment. Another relevant example, now for dissolution in another liquid, is the dissolution of CO2 in brine for improved carbon capture and storage methods. These can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Lohse will work on a deeper fundamental understanding of melting and dissolution in multicomponent and multiphase liquid systems. He will do so with a combination of controlled experiments and numerical simulations on various scales. In the project, Lohse and his team will measure local quantities such as velocity, salt concentration and temperature and connect them to global transport processes to come to a fundamental understanding of these multicomponent systems with phase transitions. In the end, this research will lead to a better fundamental understanding of how exactly icebergs melt.
Third Advanced Grant
Incredibly, this is the third ERC Advanced Grant that Lohse has received, which is a rare accomplishment. ERC Advanced Grants are five-year awards, designed to support excellent scientists and scholars in any field at the career stage when they are already established research leaders, with a recognised track record of research achievements.