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University of Groningen

Country: Netherlands

University of Groningen

467 Projects, page 1 of 94
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 681627
    Overall Budget: 1,902,240 EURFunder Contribution: 1,902,240 EUR

    Deep galaxy surveys are the most valuable asset to understand the history of our Universe. They are key to test galaxy formation models which, based on the Cold Dark Matter framework, are successful at reproducing general aspects of galaxy evolution with cosmic time. However, important discrepancies still exist between models and observations, most notably at high redshifts. This Project will reconstruct the history of galaxy buildup from the first billion years of cosmic time through the peak activity epoch of the Universe, which occurred 10 billion years ago, providing a fundamental constraint for galaxy formation models. I am leading the largest ultra-deep galaxy survey that will ever be conducted with the Spitzer Space Telescope. In this Project, I will exploit my new Spitzer program to do a groundbreaking study of galaxy buildup in the young Universe, paving the way for further galaxy evolution studies with the forthcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). My main objectives are: 1) quantifying galaxy stellar mass assembly beyond the peak activity epoch, through the study of the galaxy stellar mass function up to z~7; 2) measuring, for the first time, galaxy clustering with stellar mass information up to such high redshifts; 3) linking galaxy growth to dust-obscured star formation using Spitzer and new APEX/AMKID sub-millimetre data; 4) unveiling the first steps of galaxy buildup at z>7 with JWST; 5) optimizing the official JWST Mid Infrared Instrument (MIRI) data reduction pipeline for the analysis of deep galaxy surveys. The delivery of an optimized MIRI pipeline is an important added value to the scientific outcome of this Project, which will benefit the general Astronomical community. This is the right time for this Project to make a maximum impact. We are now in a turning point for IR Astronomy, and this opportunity should not be missed. This Project will have a long-lasting legacy, bridging current and next generations of IR galaxy surveys.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 252843
  • Funder: EC Project Code: 891936
    Overall Budget: 253,052 EURFunder Contribution: 253,052 EUR

    RACELAND investigates how white-supremacist social systems affect people and the environment on a worldwide scale. Taking an innovative interdisciplinary approach, its aim is to examine how race and class discrimination globally interlocks with economic development, ecological issues, medical research, and the advancement of science more generally. The focus of this project is on a modern and quintessential white-supremacist society: the segregationist South of the U.S. during the Cold War era. Often considered a regional backwater that was out of step with modernity, I apply a radically different perspective that places the South at the center of U.S. policymaking and racialized innovation in the post-World War II period. RACELAND emphasizes the ingenious strategies southern segregationists employed to keep their racist worldview intact and export its main tenets across the globe, with profound consequences for ecosystems around the world and for the populations inhabiting them. The legacy of such strategies continues until today. The project addresses pressing current questions regarding social and environmental justice, which cannot be answered unless we know more about their historical context, about when and why these problems arose in the first place. Considering the recent rise of reactionary populism and the alt-right movement, my proposal is incredibly timely, because it exposes the complex and entangled roots of this right-wing upswing. The training objectives of the Fellowship are aimed at research, management, and public outreach. The Fellowship will enable me to learn advanced intellectual and management skills as part of an outstanding interdisciplinary team of scholars at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. Moreover, it will enhance my abilities to raise public awareness through cooperation with expert journalists, online platforms that publish about themes connected to my research, and institutes engaged in community outreach.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 751404
    Overall Budget: 177,599 EURFunder Contribution: 177,599 EUR

    Viruses are nano-sized, genome-filled protein containers with metastable mechanical properties. They form by spontaneous self-assembly inside the crowded, heterogeneous environment of the infected cells. While structural characterization of viruses is becoming increasingly more refined, essential questions about the viral life cycle remain unanswered up to date. This includes: (i) how do the capsomeres (capsid proteins) rearrange during the infection cycle of a viral capsid? (ii) What are the interaction forces responsible for successful infection of viral capsids? (iii) Which kinetic parameters govern this process? To address these questions, the present proposal aims to understand the physico-biology behind the binding of viral capsids to their host cell membrane using human adeno virus as a model system. To accomplish these goals I will investigate the structural and mechanical properties of those proteins forming the viral capsids and measure the binding force to the targeted cell membrane. High-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM) will allow me to directly observe the ensemble of proteins in action at high spatio-temporal resolution and under near-to physiological conditions. At the same time Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy (SMFS) will allow to measure directly the magnitude of forces involved in the interactions. Having access to the information on structure as well as to the unbinding dynamics of the capsid proteins, I will be able to build a kinetic model of the first steps of viral infection at the single-molecule level.

  • Funder: EC Project Code: 895210
    Overall Budget: 187,572 EURFunder Contribution: 187,572 EUR

    African trypanosomiasis has been a historic scourge on the African continent and one of the major causes of poverty. It is responsible for sleeping sickness in humans and it avoids the development of agriculture based on domesticated animals where it causes Nagana. It is a neglected disease with the worst drug control according to WHO. In this project, I propose a conceptual change in the therapeutic approach against Trypanosoma sp., being the goal of the proposal to eliminate the parasite in its vector, the tsetse fly, thus fighting both, sleeping sickness and Nagana. Taking advantage of the current methodological advances, the claim of this innovative proposal is the design of a new expression system to reduce or eliminate the vector competence, using for it one of the endosymbionts of the fly, Sodalis sp. The development of this idea involves a work of entomology, microbiology, parasitology and molecular biology. For this study, 2 research groups with solid and complementary expertise and skills are required: The French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (France) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). The methodology implemented in this project will be: (i) characterization of proteins secretion pathways in Sodalis for heterologous expression of peptides, (ii) identification of promoters overexpressed in Sodalis upon interaction with Trypanosoma, and their characterization by fusion to fluorescent proteins, iii) paratransgenesis assays in flies and evaluation of the in vivo activity in infected and non-infected flies, stability across time and inherency to progeny, iv) analysis of the vector competence, using the new expression system by the production of antimicrobial peptides active against Trypanosoma, production of insecticidal peptides to kill the flies infected and RNA interference with the fly/symbionts. Blocking parasite transmission, we will contribute to drastically reduce the impact of trypanosome on African health.

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