Two scientists from the University of Liverpool have been awarded prestigious research grants from the European Research Council (ERC).
Professor Andrew Cooper and Professor Mathias Brust, both from the Department of Chemistry, have each been awarded £2.1million ERC Advanced grants which are awarded to established research leaders to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects that open new directions in their research fields.
Track-record of significant research
Professor Stephen Holloway, Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “This is a major achievement for the University. ERC grants are very coveted and recognise scientists who have developed a track-record of significant research achievements and are exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions.”
Professor Cooper’s project will transform the area of organic crystal engineering by introducing a new level of ‘designability’ into functional molecular crystals. It will develop robust organic tectons which are organic molecules that assemble in a modular and predictable way without forming intermolecular coordination or covalent bonds.
Professor Mathias Brust has been awarded funding for his project – PANDORA (Performance Active Nanoscale Devices Obtained by Rational Assembly) which will make nanomaterials more responsive and more `biological’.
Imitating functional aspects of life
The project aims to demonstrate that the thermodynamic conditions essential to living organisms can also be applied to artificial nanoscale assemblies and enable these to imitate some functional aspects of life.
ERC President, Professor Helga Nowotny, said: “I am proud that the ERC succeeds in finding and funding the very best research leaders with the most creative ideas in Europe.”
The grants, now in their fifth year, are aimed at researchers who have already established themselves as independent research leaders in their own right.