European Research Council (ERC)

Der European Research Council (ERC) fördert herausragende bahnbrechende Pionierforschung, basierend auf der wissenschaftlichen Exzellenz der Antragsteller*innen sowie der innovativen Projektidee. Zahlreiche Wissenschaftler*innen der Universität Bonn waren seit dem Start des ERC im Jahr 2007 erfolgreich.

ERC Starting Grant

Mit dem ERC Starting Grant werden vielversprechende Nachwuchswissenschaftler*innen am Beginn ihrer wissenschaftlichen Karriere gefördert (2 bis 7 Jahre nach der Promotion).

ERC Starting Grant Grantees 2020
ERC Starting Grants für Prof. Dr. Joachim Freyberger (links oben), Prof. Dr. Florian Zimmermann (rechts) und Prof. Dr. Francesc Dilmé (links unten) © Barbara Fromman/briq/Meike Böschemeyer

ERC Starting Grants der Universität Bonn

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Francesc Dilmé
Institut für Mikroökonomik
Adenauerallee 24-42
53113 Bonn

Abstract

This proposal studies price negotiations in dynamic markets. The focus is on one of the most primitive economic problems: a seller and a buyer bargain over the price of a good. Their cost and values are private information and, if they do not reach an agreement today, they may continue bargaining tomorrow.

Somewhat surprisingly, our knowledge about bargaining with two-sided asymmetric information is still quite limited. Intuitively, on the one hand, signaling forces induce the seller and the buyer to delay trade to obtain a higher share of the trade surplus. One the other hand, Coasian forces push prices down and make trade efficient. The balance between these two forces determines the efficiency of the market and how the trade surplus is shared between the seller and the buyer.

I will provide a new systematic analysis of markets with asymmetric information. Using recent developments in the characterization of robust behavior and strategic stability, I will first analyze dynamic pricing by privately informed sellers in markets with independent values. Building on the understanding of the basic bilateral bargaining problem, I will then consider related problems. In particular, in the second subproject, I will consider interdependent values and, in the third subproject, I will consider a multilateral setting with multiple sellers. Markets studied in this project will include real estate markets, markets for durable goods, markets for intermediate goods, and nancial markets. The results will provide guidance to assess the effect that currently debated policies regarding privacy or condentiality have on social welfare or market efficiency.

Laufzeit

01.02.2021 - 31.01.2026

Artikelaktionen

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Joachim Freyberger
Institut für Finanzmarktökonomie & Statistik
Adenauerallee 24-42
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Structural models are key tools of economists to evaluate and design policies. These models specify economic environments, estimate mechanisms that determine outcomes, and can be used for counterfactual predictions. One important class of models deals with skill and human capital formation, which is an important driver of economic growth and inequality. These models study the determinants of skill formation and the timing of optimal investments in children. Since structural models require simplifying assumptions, they are also prone to misspecification.
The proposed research shows that existing skill formation models rely on seemingly innocuous normalizations, which can severely impact counterfactual predictions. For example, simply changing the units of measurements of observed variables can yield ineffective investment strategies and misleading policy recommendations. I plan to tackle these problems by providing a new comprehensive identification analysis and by focusing on a novel set of important policy-relevant parameters that yield robust conclusions. These issues and solutions might extend to many other structural models with latent variables. In addition, I will provide a new flexible estimator for the policy-relevant features and analyze various data sets to reevaluate policy recommendations with potentially large impacts on costs and benefits of large public investments in children, economic growth, and inequality.
Estimation will rely on other objectives of this proposal, which aim to develop new econometric tools. These tools are important contributions on their own rights and are applicable in a wide range of settings. They allow researchers to obtain more precise nonparametric estimators and more reliable conclusions by using shape restrictions implied by economic theory and data-driven dimension reduction techniques. By also providing guidance on which estimation method to use in practice, these results can have a large impact on empirical research.

Laufzeit

01.12.2020 - 30.11.2025

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Florian Zimmermann
Institute on Behaviour & Inequality (briq)
Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Beliefs and expectations play a major role in economic analysis. In the proposed research, I seek to advance our empirical understanding of belief and expectation formation processes by incorporating memory patterns. Intuitively, memory plays a crucial role in the process of belief formation and the evolution of belief distortions, as large parts of the information used when forming beliefs is retrieved from memory. While recent theoretical work has begun to recognize the important role of memory for belief formation, empirical research is virtually non-existent. Accordingly, this research sets out to study the role of memory for belief formation in a set of key domains of behavioral economics. In parts 1a and 1b, I propose to study the role of associative recall in expectation formation. The principle of associative recall posits that current cues trigger the recall of past news that are mentally associated with the cue. Two central predictions that emerge from this principle are: (i) context-cued associative recall can lead to overreaction; (ii) context-cued associative recall can create belief spillovers. I plan to test both predictions in tailored lab experiments. In part 2a, I seek to study the implications of memory for reference-dependent behavior. Reference-dependent preferences are at the heart of many behavioral theories. Yet, the nature and determinants of reference points remains an open issue. I plan to experimentally study how memory shapes reference points. Memory patterns can endogenize the reference point and will deliver precise conditions as to when reference points can be expected to be determined by rational expectations, and when they are more likely to be backward-looking. In the final part of this proposal, I plan to study a key puzzle in behavioral economics. Why are so many people naïve about their present bias? In this project, I propose to experimentally study the role (imperfect) memory plays in generating and maintaining naïveté.

Laufzeit

01.12.2020 - 30.11.2025

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Elvira Mass
Life & Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES)
Carl-Troll-Str. 31
53115 Bonn

Abstract

An omnipresent but understudied environmental risk for our immune system is pollution by nano-sized plastics. Plastic particles have been detected in a wide variety of ecosystems and are speculated to enter and spread in the food web all the way to humans. Ingested nanoplastics can translocate from the gut to the lymph and circulatory systems and have the capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier in mammals. It has been recently shown that nanoplastics cause behavioural disorders in fish, and thus may also represent a risk for human health, in particular for brain function. However, the long-term bioavailability and toxicity of nanoplastics in the brain are unknown. Microglia, as the main neuroimmune cells, have not only a defence function required during inflammatory conditions, but they constantly sense and response to environmental changes as part of their housekeeping functions that are essential for neuronal homeostasis. This places microglia at the interface between normal and abnormal brain development and function. In line with this, we have recently discovered that chronic microglial activation causes neurodegeneration. As highly phagocytic cells, microglia internalize nanoplastics reaching the brain. This process might in turn lead to their acute or chronic activation, thereby triggering neurological disorders. In NanoGlia, we will use rodent animal models to investigate behavioural as well as cellular and molecular changes in the brain that occur upon ingestion of nanoplastics. We will further determine nanoplastics-induced developmental reprogramming events in fetal microglia that may influence brain organogenesis and function. Understanding how nanoplastics triggers microglial activation during embryogenesis and postnatal stages and whether this immune activation leads to permanent changes in brain development and function will reveal ground-breaking mechanistic insights into the environmentally triggered pathogenesis of neurological disorders.

Laufzeit

01.04.2020 - 31.03.2025

Principial Investigator

Prof. Dr. Martin Fuhrmann
Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE)
Venusberg-Campus 1/99
53127  Bonn

Abstract

Microglia represent the mediator of synapse formation or link between pre- and post-synapse, sensing neurotransmitter release at highly active pre-synaptic sites and actively orchestrating the formation of new spines from the dendrite. This is the main hypothesis of the EU-funded MicroSynCom project. It will investigate and reveal the underlying mechanisms of this process. The project will use two-photon stimulated emission depletion microscopy, novel viral and genetically encoded sensors for neurotransmitters, and optogenetic and chemogenetic manipulation tools. It will also combine these methods with the behaviour test in freely moving but also head-fixed mice to visualise microglia-mediated synapse formation in awake mice. For the first time, researchers will be able to uncover the mechanisms establishing this novel role of microglia as the mediator of synapse formation in live animals.

Laufzeit

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2025

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Matthias Hullin
Institut für Informatik II
Endenicher Allee 19A
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The automated analysis of visual data is a key enabler for industrial and consumer technologies and of immense economic and social importance. Its main challenge is in the inherent ambiguity of images due to the very mechanism of image capture: light reaching a pixel on different paths or at different times is mixed irreversibly. Consequently, even after decades of extensive research, problems like deblurring or descattering, geometry/material estimation or motion tracking are still largely unsolved and will remain so in the foreseeable future.
Transient imaging (TI) tackles this problem by recording ultrafast optical echoes that unmix light contributions by the total pathlength. So far, TI used to require high-end measurement setups. By introducing computational TI (CTI), we paved the way for a lightweight capture of transient data using consumer hardware. We showed the potential of CTI in scenarios like robust range measurement, descattering and imaging of objects outside the line of sight – tasks that had been considered difficult to impossible so far.
The ECHO project is rooted in computer graphics and computational imaging. In it, we will overcome the practical limitations that are hampering a large-scale deployment of TI: the time required for data capture and to reconstruct the desired information, both in the order of seconds to minutes, a lack of dedicated image priors and of quality guarantees for the reconstruction, the limited accuracy and performance of forward models and the lack of ground-truth data and benchmark methods.
Over the course of ECHO, we will pioneer advanced capture setups and strategies, formation models, priors and numerical methods, for the first time enabling real-time reconstruction and analysis of transient light transport in complex and dynamic scenes. The methodology developed in this far-reaching project will turn TI from a research technology into a family of practical tools that will immediately benefit many applications.

Laufzeit

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2023

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Alexander Blanke
Institut für Evolutionsbiologie und Zooökologie
An der Immenburg 1
53121 Bonn

Abstract

Insects are extremely efficient feeders that impact on the world's ecosystems and our agriculture with their feeding capabilities. Insects evolved diverse mouthpart types during ~400 million years of evolution which allowed them to conquer many food recourses. How this feeding system evolved, in particular the transition from one mouthpart type to the other, is unclear. My idea represents the first extensive assessment of insect head mechanics applying latest semi-automatic workflows and engineering approaches to unravel the factors driving insect mouthpart evolution and performance. Specifically, I will study the mechanical evolution from early biting-chewing to piercing-sucking mouthparts and head types, considering recent as well as fossil species. In contrast to earlier studies, I aim to quantify mechanical evolution for the whole head which has never been attempted before for insects. This will be done using engineering software to simulate insect feeding, followed by 3D shape analysis and finally evolutionary modelling using algorithms based on likelihood models of evolutionary processes. The project is therefore positioned at the interconnection between experimental biology, engineering and biological simulation. The results will impact our understanding of insect evolution, with the project identifying which mechanical factors made insects such extraordinarily successful feeders, and why their mouthparts evolved into so many different types. To achieve an integrative understanding, my idea will furthermore take into account ecological, evolutionary and life history factors. Understanding the mechanical head evolution has never been tried before in a systematic way at this scale. However, my project idea also delivers results for industry: Since modern engineering methods are used, the results can be readily exported to the industry for the design of lighter robot arms with better lifting capabilities, thus advancing robotic techniques.

Laufzeit

01.02.2018 - 31.01.2023

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Simon Stellmer
Physikalisches Institut
Nussallee 12
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The Standard Model of particle physics (SM), while largely successful, fails to accurately describe the state of the Universe, e.g. with respect to the evident matter/antimatter asymmetry. Various theories seek to conciliate the SM with observations by extending it, and most of these extensions introduce a massive violation of the combined charge invariance and parity (CP) symmetry. The CP violation would reflect in a sizeable permanent electric dipole moment (EDM) of fundamental particles, large enough to be detected by realistic future experiments. A few pioneering experiments already set out to measure the EDM of neutrons, electrons, or atoms. The most stringent upper limit to any EDM is currently obtained by an experiment based on room-temperature gases of mercury. I propose to take this approach to the quantum world by employing ultracold or even quantum-degenerate mercury samples. To this end, we will construct a dedicated quantum gas experiment. We will develop advanced cooling methods, obtain the world’s first Bose-Einstein condensate and degenerate Fermi gas of mercury, and introduce vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) lasers to the field. These ground-breaking innovations will increase the coherence time of the sample, enable a higher detection efficiency, and exploit coherent effects, thereby increasing the sensitivity tremendously. Our measurements of the Hg-199 atomic EDM will complement cold-molecule measurements of the electron's EDM. Technologies developed here can readily be utilized to improve the performance of Hg lattice clocks and will inspire quantum simulations of unique many-body systems. The principal investigator of this project is highly respected for his pioneering work on degenerate quantum gases of strontium. His current work on a nuclear optical clock introduced him to VUV optics and strengthened his footing in the community. Bringing together his expertise in these two fields – quantum gases and VUV optics – will lead the project to success.

Laufzeit

01.04.2018 - 31.03.2023

Principal Investigator

Dr. Bernardo Franklin
Institute of Innate Immunity
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Abstract

The Interleukin (IL)-1 family of pro-inflammatory cytokines are among the most potent pyrogens, and their excessive production can cause several auto-inflammatory syndromes. Additionally, overabundance
of IL-1 cytokines can trigger, or contribute to a range of inflammatory and metabolic disorders. The expression of the key members of the IL-1 family, such as IL-1β and IL-18, is regulated at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. IL-1β and IL-18, are produced as inactive precursors, which require activation of caspase-1 by the inflammasomes for their maturation and release by from cells, occasionally at the cost of caspase-1 mediated-cell death. We have recently discovered that inflammasomes are released into the extracellular space where they remain active after the demise of activated cells, and that extracellular inflammasomes can amplify inflammation by sustaining extracellular production of IL-1β. However, the sources of extracellular pro-IL-1β are not known. Recent advances in platelet proteomics have revealed that these non-nucleated cells are able to produce their own cytokines, including soluble IL-1β and membrane-bound IL-1α, and are able to significantly magnify IL-1 production by immune cells. As platelets outnumber leukocytes by several folds, they could potentially be the major source of extracellular inflammasomes in the body, or be a major producer of IL- precursors that are cleaved by extracellular inflammasomes released from dying immune cells. In this proposal, we will investigate the mechanism(s) by which platelets produce IL-1, and the specific contribution of platelet-derived IL-1 to sterile inflammation, or host resistance to bacterial and viral infection. We believe that a deeper understanding of platelet-IL-1 and their interaction with immune cells during sterile inflammation, or infection might help to uncover new targets for immune-therapies.

Laufzeit

01.03.2017 - 28.02.2022

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Matthew Smith
Institut für Informatik 4
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 144
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Usability problems are a major cause of many of today’s IT-security incidents. Security systems are often too complicated, time-consuming, and error prone. For more than a decade researchers in the domain of usable security (USEC) have attempted to combat these problems by conducting interdisciplinary research focusing on the root causes of the problems and on the creation of usable security mechanisms. While major improvements have been made, to date USEC research has focused almost entirely on the non-expert end-user. However, many of the most catastrophic security incidents were not caused by end-users, but by developers or administrators. Heartbleed and Shellshock were both caused by single developers yet had global consequences. The recent Sony hack compromised an entire multi-national IT-infrastructure and misappropriated over 100 TB of data, unnoticed. Fundamentally, every software vulnerability and misconfigured system is caused by developers or administrators making mistakes, but very little research has been done into the underlying causalities and possible mitigation strategies. 

I aim to extend the frontiers of usable security by conducting foundational research into USEC methods for developers and administrators. To this end I will research and systemize the hitherto unexamined human factors in a carefully selected set of problems currently faced by developers and administrators, specifically: authentication, secure messaging, systems configuration, intrusion detection, and public key infrastructures. From this pioneering research I will extract and develop principles, methods, and best practices for conducting usability studies and research with these actors and establish a foundation for this emerging research field. In addition to these foundational methodological results, I expect to make fundamental advancements in the above application research domains by including the human factors in these currently purely technical research areas.

Laufzeit

01.08.2016 - 31.07.2021

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gall
Institut für Informatik III
Römerstr. 164
53117 Bonn

Abstract

The goal of the project is to automatically analyse human activities observed in videos. Any solution to this problem will allow the development of novel applications. It could be used to create short videos that summarize daily activities to support patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. It could also be used for education, e.g., by providing a video analysis for a trainee in the hospital that shows if the tasks have been correctly executed. 

The analysis of complex activities in videos, however, is very challenging since activities vary in temporal duration between minutes and hours, involve interactions with several objects that change their appearance and shape, e.g., food during cooking, and are composed of many sub-activities, which can happen at the same time or in various orders. 

While the majority of recent works in action recognition focuses on developing better feature encoding techniques for classifying sub-activities in short video clips of a few seconds, this project moves forward and aims to develop a higher level representation of complex activities to overcome the limitations of current approaches. This includes the handling of large time variations and the ability to recognize and locate complex activities in videos. To this end, we aim to develop a unified model that provides detailed information about the activities and sub-activities in terms of time and spatial location, as well as involved pose motion, objects and their transformations. 

Another aspect of the project is to learn a representation from videos that is not tied to a specific source of videos or limited to a specific application. Instead we aim to learn a representation that is invariant to a perspective change, e.g., from a third-person perspective to an egocentric perspective, and can be applied to various modalities like videos or depth data without the need of collecting massive training data for all modalities. In other words, we aim to learn the essence of activities.

Laufzeit

01.06.2016 - 31.05.2021

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Karin Paeschke
Med. Klinik III, Abteilung für Onkologie
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53125 Bonn

Abstract

Secondary structures such as G-quadruplexes (G4s) can form within DNA or RNA. They pose a dramatic risk for genome stability, because due to their stability they can block DNA replication and this could lead to DNA breaks. In certain cancer cells mutations/deletions are observed at G4s, if a helicase that is important for G4 unwinding is mutated. Nevertheless, G4s are also discussed to be functional elements for cellular processes such as telomere protection, transcription, replication, and meiosis. The aim of this research proposal is to use various biochemical and computational tools to determine which proteins are essential for formation and regulation of G4s. Proposed experiments will gain insights into both “effects” of G4s, the risk for genome stability and its significant function for the cell. In aim 1 we will elucidate and identify novel proteins that bind, regulate, and repair G4s, especially in the absence of helicases, in vitro and in vivo. Our focus is to understand how G4s become mutated in the absence of helicases, which proteins are involved, and how genome stability is preserved. In aim 2, we will use cutting edge techniques to identify regions that form G4s in vivo. Although there is experimental proof for G4s in vivo, this is not commonly accepted, yet. We will provide solid data that will support the existence of G4s in vivo. Furthermore, we will survey genome-wide when and why G4s become a risk for genome stability. Aim 3 will focus on the in silico observation that G4 structures are connected to meiosis. In this aim we will use a combination of techniques to unravel the biological significance of G4s during meiosis in vivo. Due to the connection of G4s and cancer the data obtained from this research proposal will not only be important to understand G4 regulation and formation, but will also provide unique knowledge on the impact of G4 structures for genome stability and thereby for human health.

Laufzeit

01.07.2015 - 28.02.2021

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Stephan Lauermann
Institut für Mikroökonomie
Adenauerallee 24-42
53115 Bonn

Abstract

Elections are the foundation for democratic decision making. This research program will examine the effects of biased and privately informed entities—election organizers—on the ability of elections to aggregate information: Existing theory demonstrates that large electorates can reach correct decisions by aggregating information dispersed among many voters. However, existing theory does not account for the ubiquitous presence of biased organizers who intend to affect the election outcome. Examples of biased organizers may include a CEO holding a shareholder vote, a regional government holding a referendum, and political parties in general elections.

This project will develop and analyze new models of voting that account for the effects of biased organizers on information aggregation. One of the examples I consider is an election organizer who can increase voter participation at some cost (e.g., through advertising). Preliminary work suggests that the presence of biased organizers has significant impact. As increasing participation becomes cheap, equilibria exist where the election organizer recruits a large number voters and yet the majority votes almost surely for the organizer’s favorite policy. This failure of information aggregation contrasts starkly with existing results for elections in which the number of voters is exogenously large.

I will study the effectiveness of institutional safeguards against such manipulation, including supermajority rules, publicity requirements, and the regulation of communication to voters, and I will apply the theory in the context of shareholder voting and corporate control. Thus, this research program has important implications for the design of elections in realistic voting scenarios.

Laufzeit

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2020

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Heiko Röglin
Institut für Informatik, Abteilung I
Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 144
53113 Bonn

Abstract

For many optimization problems that arise in logistics, information retrieval, and other contexts the classical theory of algorithms has lost its grip on reality because it is based on a pessimistic worst-case perspective, in which the performance of an algorithm is solely measured by its behavior on the worst possible input. This does not take into consideration that worst-case inputs are often rather contrived and occur only rarely in practical applications. It led to the situation that for many problems the classical theory is not able to differentiate meaningfully between different algorithms. Even worse, for some important problems it recommends algorithms that perform badly in practice over algorithms that work well in practice only because the artificial worst-case performance of the latter ones is bad.

We will study classic optimization problems (traveling salesperson problem, linear programming, etc.) as well as problems coming from machine learning and information retrieval. All these problems have in common that the practically most successful algorithms have a devastating worst-case performance even though they clearly outperform the theoretically best algorithms.

Only in recent years a paradigm shift towards a more realistic and robust algorithmic theory has been initiated. This project will play a major role in this paradigm shift by developing and exploring novel theoretical approaches (e.g. smoothed analysis) to reconcile theory and practice. A more realistic theory will have a profound impact on the design and analysis of algorithms in the future, and the insights gained in this project will lead to algorithmic tools for large-scale optimization problems that improve on existing ad hoc methods. Even though the main focus lies on theoretical work, we will also test the applicability of our theoretical considerations in experimental studies.

Laufzeit

01.10.2012 - 30.09.2017

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer
Department of Economics
Macroeconomics and Econometrics Group
Kaiserplatz 7-9
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Micro-level uncertainty and borrowing constraints are first order issues in macroeconomics and fluctuations in uncertainty and borrowing constraints can be expected to have strong consequences for business cycles. Not least the Great Recession provides a strong example. At the same time, almost all macroeconomic models with heterogeneous agents abstract from nominal rigidities to ensure numerical tractability. Yet, this restricts their applicability to business-cycle research drastically. Vice versa, the standard sticky-prices representative-agent approach to business-cycle research assumes away the role of idiosyncratic uncertainty and heterogeneity outright; again for reasons of tractability.
This significantly limits our understanding of what might be an important component of business cycles. To give an example: In a standard incomplete markets model, it depresses consumption if there is a temporary increase in uncertainty or borrowing constraints. In a flexible price setup this implies a boom driven by higher investment and an increase in labour supply. This contradicts existing empirical evidence showing that idiosyncratic uncertainty is countercyclical. However, sticky prices may be able to quantitatively align model prediction and evidence as they make aggregate output demand determined.
This motivates the proposed research, where the first objective is to develop a quantitative framework that merges nominal rigidities with market incompleteness. In this framework, I then analyse income risk from unemployment as a propagation mechanism and fluctuations in borrowing constraints as potential drivers of business cycles.
As income risk from the labour market is a central building block of any incomplete markets model, this first set of projects is complemented by analysing the micro structure of job and worker flows to grasp the frictions in hiring workers or creating jobs. A good understanding of these frictions helps to gauge the effect of policies aimed at mitigating the idiosyncratic uncertainty, such as unemployment insurance, subsidized part-time layoffs, or legal restrictions on firing. These projects build on a unique data set generated by a small team around me at the Institute of Employment Research of the German Federal Employment Agency, which covers all quarterly worker- and job flows for the universe of German plants since 1975 with detailed information on workers and plants.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Eva Viehmann

Technische Universität München
Zentrum Mathematik - M11
Boltzmannstr. 3
85748 Garching bei München

Abstract

This project provides a novel approach to the local Langlands programme via a comprehensive investigation of local G-shtukas and their moduli spaces and the exploitation of their relations to Shimuravarieties.

Local G-shtukas are generalisations to arbitrary reductive groups of the local analogue of Drinfeld shtukas. They also are the function field counterpart of p-divisible groups. Hence moduli spaces of local G-shtukas are of great interest, in particular for the geometric realisation of local Langlands correspondences. Compared to p-divisible groups local G-shtukas have several advantages. They can be defined and studied for any reductive group, enabling a systematic use of group theoretic methods and promising unified results. Furthermore, their local description by elements of loop groups makes them more accessible than the description of p-divisible groups by Cartier theory or displays. Comparison theorems to p-divisible groups then provide a novel way to insight into their moduli spaces.

The research plan of this project is subdivided into three strands which mutually benefit from each other: Firstly we want to understand the representations realised in the cohomology of moduli spaces of local G-shtukas in connection with the geometric local Langlands programme. Secondly, we study the geometry of the moduli spaces and investigate several natural stratifications. Finally, we build the bridge to Shimura varieties. On the one hand we explore the source of new results obtained by transferring methods developed for one of the two sides (Shimura varieties resp. moduli spaces of local G-shtukas) to prove similar assertions for the other. On the other hand we establish closer ties by proving direct comparison theorems.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. László Székelyhidi

Universität Leipzig
Mathematisches Institut
Johannisgasse 26
04009 Leipzig

Abstract

A fundamental problem of the theory of turbulence is to find a satisfactory mathematical framework linking the Navier-Stokes equations to the statistical theory of Kolmogorov. A central difficulty in this task is the inherent non-uniqueness and pathological behaviour ofweak solutions of the Euler equations, the inviscid limit of the Navier-Stokes equations. This non-uniqueness, rather than being an isolated
phenomenon, turns out to be directly linked to the celebrated construction of Nash and Kuiper of rough isometric embeddings and, more generally, to Gromov’s h-principle in geometry. The central aim of this project is deepen the understanding of this link, with the following goals:

I. Scaling Laws. Attack specific conjectures concerning weak solutions of the Euler equations that are motivated by the Kolmogorov theory of homogeneous isotropic turbulence. Most prominently the conjecture of Onsager, which relates the critical regularity for energy conservation to the scaling of the energy spectrum in the inertial range.

II. Selection Criteria. Study the initial value problem for weak solutions, with the aim of characterizing the set of initial data for which an entropy condition implies uniqueness, and obtaining information on the maximal possible rate of energy decay and identifying selection criteria that single out a physically relevant solution when uniqueness fails.

III. General Theory. Identify universal features of the construction, in order to be applicable to a large class of problems. This involves an analysis of the geometry induced by the equations in an appropriate state space, developing iteration schemeswhich use only a finite number of "cell-problems", and developing versions of convex integration that use higher-dimensional constructions.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Ambre Luguet

Steinmann-Institut
Poppelsdorfer Schloss
53115 Bonn

Abstract

This project aims to directly constrain the melting history and composition of the mantle of the Earth for the first 750 Ma of its history. So far, our limited knowledge hinges on isolated detrital zircons from Archean crustal rocks. They indicate crustal extraction as early as 4.4 Ga with peaks at 4.0 and 4.3 Ga but reveal conflicting models for the composition of the Hadean mantle. Both the timing and extent of these early crust formation events and the composition of the Hadean mantle have crucial implications for our understanding of the Early Earth’s chemical evolution and dynamics as well as crustal growth and thermal cooling models. Sulfides (BMS) and platinum group minerals (PGM) may hold the key to these fundamental issues, as they are robust time capsules able to preserve the melting record of their mantle source over several billion years.

I propose to perform state-of-the-art in-situ Pt-Re-Os isotopic measurements on an extensive collection of micrometric BMS and PGM from Archean cratonic peridotites and chromite deposits, and paleoplacers in Archean sedimentary basins. For the first time, < 20 μm minerals will be investigated for Pt- Re-Os. The challenging but high-resolution micro-drilling technique will be developed for in-situ sampling of the PGM and BMS with subsequent high-precision 187Os-186Os isotopic measurements by NTIMS. This highly innovative project will be the first to constrain Hadean Earth history from the perspective of the Earth’s mantle. By opening a new window towards high-precision geochemical exploration for micrometric minerals, this project will have long-term implications for the understanding of the micro to nano-scale heterogeneity of isotopic signatures in the Earth’s mantle and in extra-terrestrial materials.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Holger Rauhut
RWTH Aachen
Lehrstuhl für Mathematik C (Analysis)
Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen

Abstract

Compressive sensing is a novel field in signal processing at the interface of applied mathematics, electrical engineering and computer science, which caught significant interest over the past five years. It provides a fundamentally new approach to signal acquisition and processing that has large potential for many applications. It is based on the empirical observation that many signals appearing in real-world applications can be well-approximated by a sparse expansion. Compressive sensing (sparse recovery) predicts the surprising phenomenon that such signals can be recovered from what was previously believed to be highly incomplete measurements (information) using computationally efficient algorithms. In the past year, exciting new developments emerged on the heels of compressive sensing: low rank matrix recovery (matrix completion); as well as a novel approach to the recovery of high-dimensional functions.

We plan to pursue the following research directions:

  • Compressive Sensing: We will investigate several open important mathematical problems, such as the rigorous analysis of certain measurement matrices.
  • Low rank matrix recovery: In low rank matrix recovery, one replaces the sparsity assumption by a lowrank assumption. First results predict that low rank matrices can be recovered from incomplete linearinformation using convex optimization.
  • Low rank tensor recovery: We plan to extend methods and mathematical results from low rank matrix recovery to tensors. This field is presently completely open.
  • Recovery of high-dimensional functions: Classical methods for the numerical treatment of highdimensionalfunctions commonly suffer from the curse of dimensionality: the computational effort increasesdramatically with growing dimension. In order to decrease the computational burden, a recentnovel approach assumes that the function of interest actually depends only on a small number of a priori unknown variables. Preliminary results suggest that compressive sensing and low rank matrix recovery tools can be applied to the efficient recovery of such functions.

We plan to develop computational methods for all the subtopics and to derive rigorous mathematical results on their performance. With the experience I gained over the past years, I strongly believe that I have the necessary competence to pursue this project. I expect a strong impact in science and technology.

Projekt nicht angenommen

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Veit Hornung
Institut für Klinische Chemie und Pharmakologie
Bereich Klinische Biochemie
Universitätsklinikum Bonn
Biomedizinisches Zentrum
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Abstract

Host cytokines, chemokines and type I IFNs are critical effectors of the innate immune response to viral and bacterial pathogens. Several classes of germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors have been identified, which sense non-self nucleic acids and trigger these responses. Recently NLRP-3, a member of the NODlike receptor (NLR) family, has been shown to sense endogenous danger signals, environmental insults and the DNA viruses adenovirus and HSV. Activation of NLRP-3 induces the formation of a large multiprotein complex in cells termed ‘inflammasome’, which controls the activity of pro-caspase-1 and the maturation of pro-IL-1β and pro-IL18 into their active forms. NLRP-3, however, does not regulate these responses to double stranded cytosolic DNA. We identified the cytosolic protein AIM2 as the missing receptor for cytosolic DNA. AIM2 contains a HIN200 domain, which binds to DNA and a pyrin domain, which associates with the adapter molecule ASC to activate both NF-κB and caspase-1. Knock down of AIM2 down-regulates caspase-1-mediated IL-1β responses following DNA stimulation or vaccinia virus infection. Collectively, these observations demonstrate that AIM2 forms an inflammasome with the DNA ligand and ASC to activate caspase-1. Our underlying hypothesis for this proposal is that AIM2 plays a central role in host-defence to cytosolic microbial pathogens and also in DNA-triggered autoimmunity. The goals of this research proposal are to further characterize the DNA ligand for AIM2, to explore the molecular mechanisms of AIM2 activation, to define the contribution of AIM2 to host-defence against viral and bacterial pathogens
and to assess its function in nucleic acid triggered autoimmune disease. The characterization of AIM2 and its role in innate immunity could open new avenues in the advancement of immunotherapy and treatment of autoimmune disease.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Schlein
Hausdorff Center for Mathematics & Institute for Applied Mathematics
Endenicher Allee 60
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The main goal of this proposal is to reach a better mathematical understanding of the dynamics of quantum mechanical systems. In particular I plan to work on the following three projects along this direction. A. Effective Evolution Equations for Macroscopic Systems. The derivation of effective evolution equations from first principle microscopic theories is a fundamental task of statistical mechanics. I have been involved in several projects related to the derivation of the Hartree and the Gross-Piteavskii equation from many body quantum dynamics. I plan to continue to work on these problems and to use these results to obtain new information on the many body dynamics. B. Spectral Properties of Random Matrices. The correlations among eigenvalues of large random matrices are expected to be independent of the distribution of the entries.

This conjecture, known as universality, is of great importance for random matrix theory. In collaboration with L. Erdos and H.-T. Yau, we established the validity of Wigner's semicircle law on microscopic scales, and we proved the emergence of eigenvalue repulsion. In the future, we plan to continue to study Wigner matrices to prove, on the longer term, universality. C. Locality Estimates in Quantum Dynamics. Anharmonic lattice systems are very important models in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics. With B. Nachtergaele, H. Raz, and R. Sims, we proved Lieb-Robinson type inequalities (giving an upper bound on the speed of propagation of signals), for a certain class of anharmonicity. Next, we plan to extend these results to a larger class of anharmonic potentials, and to apply these bounds to establish other fundamental properties of the dynamics of anharmonic systems, such as the existence of its thermodynamical limit.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Michael Köhl
Physikalisches Institut
Nussallee 12
53115 Bonn

Abstract

We propose to investigate hybrid quantum systems composed of ultracold atoms and ions. The mutual interaction of the cold neutral atoms and the trapped ion offers a wealth of interesting new physical problems. They span from ultracold quantum chemistry over new concepts for quantum information processing to genuine quantum many-body physics. We plan to explore aspects of quantum chemistry with ultracold atoms and ions to obtain a full understanding of the interactions in this hybrid system. We will investigate the regime of low energy collisions and search for Feshbach resonances to tune the interaction strength between atoms and ions. Moreover, we will study collective effects in chemical reactions between a Bose-Einstein condensate and a single ion. Taking advantage of the extraordinary properties of the atom-ion mixture quantum information processing with hybrid systems will be performed. In particular, we plan to realize sympathetic ground state cooling of the ion with a Bose-Einstein condensate. When the ion is immersed into the ultracold neutral atom environment the nature of the decoherence will be tailored by tuning properties of the environment: A dissipative quantum phase transition is predicted when the ion is coupled to a one-dimensional Bose gas. Moreover, we plan to realize a scalable hybrid quantum processor composed of a single ion and an array of neutral atoms in an optical lattice. The third direction we will pursue is related to impurity effects in quantum many-body physics. We plan to study transport through a single impurity or atomic quantum dot with the goal of realizing a single atom transistor. A single atom transistor transfers the quantum state of the impurity coherently to a macroscopic neutral atom current. Finally, we plan to observe Anderson s orthogonality catastrophe in which the presence of a single impurity in a quantum gas orthogonalizes the quantum many-body function of a quantum state with respect to the unperturbed one.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Daniel Cremers
Technische Universität München
Fakultät für Informatik
Lehrstuhl für Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
Boltzmannstraße 3
85748 Garching

Abstract

Optimization methods have become an established paradigm to address many Computer Vision challenges such as the reconstruction of three-dimensional objects from multiple images, or the tracking of a deformable shape over time. Yet, it has been largely overlooked that optimization approaches are practically useless if there exist no efficient algorithms to compute minimizers of respective energies. Most existing formulations give rise to non-convex energies. As a consequence, solutions highly depend on the choice of minimization scheme and implementational (initialization, time step sizes, etc.), with little or no guarantees regarding the quality of computed solutions and their robustness to perturbations of the input data.

In the proposed research project, we plan to address this important shortcoming by developing optimization methods for Computer Vision which allow to efficiently compute globally optimal solutions. Preliminary results indicate that this will substantially leverage the power of optimization methods and their applicability in a substantially broader context. Specifically we will focus on three lines of research:

1) We will develop convex formulations for a variety of challenges such as 3D reconstruction from multiple views, tracking of deformable objects, and object recognition. While convex formulations are currently being developed for low-level problems such as image segmentation, our main effort will focus on carrying convex optimization to higher level problems of image understanding and scene interpretation.

2) We will investigate alternative strategies of global optimization by means of discrete graph theoretic methods. We will characterize advantages and drawbacks of continuous and discrete methods and thereby develop novel algorithms combining the advantages of both approaches.

3) We will go beyond convex formulations. This is an important challenge since many realworld problems cannot be expressed in terms of convex functionals. By developing nonconvex programming methods we intend to substantially enlarge the class of tractable problems and compute high quality solutions that lie within a bound of the optimal energy. We plan to study their relation to discrete polynomial time approximation schemes (PTAS).

Advancing the state of the art in optimization methods will have a profound impact well beyond Computer Vision. We strongly believe that we have the necessary competence to pursue this project. Preliminary results have been well received by the community.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Armin Falk
Center for Economics and Neuroscience
Zentrale wissenschaftliche Einrichtung der Universität Bonn
Nachtigallenweg 86
53127 Bonn

Abstract

This project analyzes the distribution, origin, determinants and consequences of human preferences. Preferences are key building blocks of any economic model and fundamentally determine human behavior both at an individual and a country wide level. Four particularly important types of preferences, which will be studied in this research project, are risk preferences, time preferences, social preferences and preferences for work and leisure. Despite their fundamental importance, empirical knowledge regarding the nature of preferences is still very limited. Crucial open questions include: the pervasiveness of different degrees of risk aversion, impatience and social preferences in the population; the extent to which different preferences vary systematically with personal characteristics, such as gender, age, and educational background; the correlation between preferences within person, e.g., whether individuals who are risk averse also tend to be impatient; the relation between economic preferences and other non-cognitive skills, such as personality (e.g., Big Five) and cognitive skills measured in terms of IQ; the origin of preferences, e.g., the extent to which preferences are passed on from one generation to the next; the possibility that preferences and attitudes vary systematically with the social and institutional environment; and the degree to which individual preference endowments differ across populations and countries. Answering theses questions is of great importance, both from a general research perspective as well as from a policy oriented point of view. This project is highly innovative as it combines experimental and survey techniques and because it bridges insights from many disciplines.

Artikelaktionen

ERC Consolidator Grant

Mit den ERC Consolidator Grants werden vielversprechende Nachwuchswissenschaftler*innen ausgezeichnet, die bereits bewiesen haben, dass sie unabhängig forschen (7-12 Jahre nach der Promotion).

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer vom Institut für Makroökonomie und Ökonometrie sowie vom Exzellenzcluster Hausdorff Zentrum für Mathematik der Universität Bonn. © Dr. Ralph Lütticke

ERC Consolidator Grants der Universität Bonn

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Moritz Schularick
Institut für Makroökonomie und Ökonometrie
Kaiserplatz 7-9
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Popular wisdom has it that no other investment is as ‘safe as houses’. Households have rigorously followed this investment advice. At the beginning of the 20th century, home ownership was the exception, not the rule. 100 years later, about two thirds of Europeans own the houses they live in. Homes have become the most important asset of households and mortgage loans have driven the growth of the financial sector, becoming its main asset. In the 2008 crisis, the housing market was the epicentre of shocks to the wealth of households and the health of banks.

The rise of debt-financed home ownership has transformed household portfolios and the balance sheets of banks. Yet the effects on the macroeconomy and the implications for financial stability are not well understood. We do not have a good understanding of how risky residential real estate is as an asset, how growing housing wealth affected the overall wealth distribution, or why housing and credit markets are prone to creating boom-bust cycles. SafeHouse aims to close this gap and break new ground in the macroeconomic and financial history of housing markets in 13 European countries as well as Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. from 1870–2015. 

I will pursue three main goals. First, I will determine the long-run price of housing risk, its time variation, and geographic heterogeneity, based on an extensive data collection effort. Second, I will track the evolution of housing wealth in the 20th century and quantify its contribution to much-debated trends in wealth inequality. Third, I will study the causes of boom-bust episodes in housing markets, focusing in particular on the interaction between house prices and credit supply. By combining the production of new historical data with state-of-the-art quantitative analysis, SafeHouse will open new avenues for macroeconomic and financial research on housing markets, inequality, and financial stability.

Laufzeit

01.06.2018 - 31.05.2023

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Sebastian Hofferberth
Institut für Angewandte Physik
Wegeler Str. 8
53115 Bonn

Abstract

Optical photons, for all practical purposes, do not interact. This fundamental property of light forms the basis of modern optics and enables a multitude of technical applications in our every-day life, such as all-optical communication and microscopy. On the other hand, an engineered interaction between individual photons would allow the creation and control of light photon by photon, providing fundamental insights into the quantum nature of light and allowing us to harness non-classical states of light as resource for future technology. Mapping the strong interaction between Rydberg atoms onto individual photons has emerged as a highly promising approach towards this ambitious goal. In this project, we will advance and significantly broaden the research field of Rydberg quantum optics to develop new tools for realizing strongly correlated quantum many-body states of photons. Building on our successful work over recent years, we will greatly expand our control over Rydberg slow-light polaritons to implement mesoscopic systems of strongly interacting photons in an ultracold ytterbium gas. In parallel, we will explore a new approach to strong light-matter coupling, utilizing Rydberg superatoms made out of thousands of individual atoms, strongly coupled to a propagating light mode. This free-space QED system enables strong coupling between single photons and single artificial atoms in the optical domain without any confining structures for the light. Finally, we will experimentally realize a novel quantum hybrid system exploiting the strong electric coupling between single Rydberg atoms and piezo-electric micro-mechanical oscillators. Building on this unique coupling scheme, we will explore Rydberg-mediated cooling of a mechanical system and dissipative preparation of non-classical phonon states. The three complementary parts ultimately unite into a powerful Rydberg quantum optics toolbox which will provide unprecedented control over single photons and single phonons.

Laufzeit

01.05.2018 - 30.04.2023

Principal Investigator

Dr. Hendrik Hildebrandt
Argelander-Institut für Astronomie
Auf dem Hügel 71
53121 Bonn

Abstract

The standard model of cosmology is impressively consistent with a large number of observations.Its parameters have been determined with great accuracy with the Planck CMB (cosmic microwave background) mission. However, recently local determinations of the Hubble constant as well as observationsof strong and weak gravitational lensing have found some tension with Planck. Are those observations first glimpses at a crack in the standard model and hints of an evolving dark energy component? With this ERC Consolidator Grant I will answer these questions by greatly increasing the robustness of one of those cosmological probes, the weak lensing effect of the large scale structure
of the Universe also called cosmic shear.

In order to reach this goal I will concentrate on the largest outstanding source of systematic error: photometric redshifts (photo-z). I will exploit the unique combination of two European imaging surveys in the optical and infrared wavelength regime, an additional narrow-band imaging survey with extremely precise photo-z, and spectroscopic calibration data from a recently approved ESO large program on the VLT. Using angular cross-correlations and machine-learning I will calibrate the photo-z in a two-stage process making sure that this crucial systematic uncertainty will keep pace with the
growing statistical power of imaging surveys. This will yield an uncertainty on the amplitude of the clustering of dark matter that is smaller than the best constraints from the CMB.

I will also apply these methods to ESA’s Euclid mission launching in 2020, which will fail if photo-z are not better understood by then. If the discrepancy between lensing and CMB measurements holds this would potentially result in a revolution of our understanding of the Universe. Regardless of this spectacular short-term possibility I will turn cosmic shear – one of the most powerful probes of dark energy – into a litmus test for our cosmological paradigm.

Laufzeit

01.06.2018 - 31.05.2023

Projekt nicht angenommen

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer
Department of Economics
Macroeconomics and Econometrics Group
Kaiserplatz 7-9
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Households face large idiosyncratic income risks and use their wealth to self insure. In doing so, they make portfolio choices we can summarize grosso modo as choices between liquid (safe and nominal) and illiquid (risky and real) assets. These choices have the potential to create strong aggregate repercussions as invest¬ments in real assets create an immediate demand for goods, while liquid nominal savings only when some¬one else uses the funds to invest or consume. As a result, portfolio choices are key for economic dynamics and important for the propagation of monetary and fiscal policy. Moreover, household portfolio positions and the liquidity of assets itself become an important determinant of aggregate savings and investment. Yet, they are widely disregarded in standard business cycle models today.

The proposed research therefore develops a novel framework that allows us to understand this nexus - a framework that studies business cycles, household portfolios, income risks, and asset liquidity in unison. This novel framework allows us to address a wide array of important macroeconomic questions of our time: how wealth inequality and stabilization policies interact, how monetary policy redistributes, how a housing freeze can create a recession as big as the last one, and finally, why crises are particularly severe in times of high household debt.

To develop this framework, empirical and theoretical work has to go hand in hand: First, I document the historical movements in the distribution of household (and firm) portfolios to understand how and whose portfolio positions change over the cycle and in response to shocks. Second, I document the cyclical movements in asset liquidity. Third, I develop a theoretical framework that allows us to understand the implications of changes in asset liquidity in a setup with incomplete markets and nominal rigidities. Finally, I make liquidity fluctuations endogenous and augment the model with a structure of overlapping generations.

Laufzeit

01.06.2017 - 31.05.2022

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Frank Bigiel
Argelander Institut für Astronomie
Auf dem Hügel 71
53121 Bonn

Abstract

A thorough understanding of the processes regulating the conversion of gas into stars is key to understand structure formation in the universe and the evolution of galaxies through cosmic time. Despite significant progress over the past years, the properties of the actual dense, star forming gas across normal disk galaxies remain largely unknown. This will be changed with EMPIRE, a comprehensive 500hr large program led by the PI at the IRAM 30m mm-wave telescope. EMPIRE will provide for the first time extended maps of a suite of dense gas tracers (e.g., HCN, HCO+, HNC) for a sample of nearby, star-forming, disk galaxies. By means of detailed analysis, including radiative transfer and chemical modelling, we will constrain a variety of physical quantities (in particular gas densities). We will relate these directly to the local star formation efficiency and to a variety of other dynamical, stellar and local ISM properties from existing pan-chromatic mapping of these galaxies (HI, IR, CO, UV, optical) to answer the question: "how is star formation regulated across galaxy disks?". By determining true abundance variations, we will contribute key constraints to the nascent field of galaxy-scale astrochemistry. Detailed comparisons to data for star forming regions in the Milky Way will link core, cloud and galactic scales towards a coherent view of dense gas and star formation. These results will provide an essential anchor point to Milky Way and high redshift observations alike. 

Laufzeit

01.07.2017 - 30.06.2022

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Corinna Kollath
HISKP
Nussallee 14-16
53115 Bonn

Abstract

One of our dreams for the future is to control and manipulate complex materials and devices at will. This progress would revolutionize technology and influence many aspects of our everyday life. A promising direction is the control of material properties by electromagnetic radiation leading to photo-induced phase transitions. An example of such a transition is the reported dynamically induced superconductivity via a laser pulse. Whereas the theoretical description of the coupling of fermions to bosonic modes in equilibrium has seen enormous progress and explains highly non-trivial phenomena as the phonon-induced superconductivity, driven systems pose many puzzles. In addition to the inherent time-dependence of the external driving field, a multitude of possible excitation and relaxation mechanisms challenge the theoretical understanding. Recently in the field of quantum optics, a much cleaner realization of a photo-induced phase transition, the Dicke transition, has been observed for bosonic quantum gases loaded in an optical cavity. Above a critical pump strength of an external laser field, the ensemble undergoes a transition to an ordered phase.
We aim to advance the general theoretical understanding of photo-induced phase transitions both in the field of solid state physics and quantum optics. In particular, we will focus on the design and investigation of photo-induced transitions to unconventional superconductivity and non-trivial topological phases. Our insights will be applied to fermonic quantum gases in optical cavities and solid state materials. In order to treat these systems efficiently, we will develop new variants of the numerical density matrix renormalization group (or also called matrix product state) methods and combine these with analytical approaches.

Laufzeit

01.09.2015 - 31.08.2021

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Veit Hornung
Institut für Molekulare Medizin
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Abstract

In vertebrates, a receptor-based, innate sensing machinery is used to detect the presence of microbederived molecules or the perturbation microbial infection causes within the host. In the context of viral infection, non-self nucleic acids are sensed by a set of intracellular receptors that upon activation initiate broad
antiviral effector responses to eliminate the imminent threat. Over the past years our understanding of these processes has considerably grown, mainly by employing murine knockout models.
Recent advances in genome engineering now provide the opportunity to knockout genes or even to perform functional genetic screens in human cells, providing a powerful means to validate and generate hypotheses. We have developed a high-throughput genome targeting and validation platform that allows us to tackle large-scale loss-of-function studies both at a polyclonal as well as an arrayed format. In addition, we have invested considerable efforts to render this technology applicable to study innate immune sensing and signalling pathways in the human system. GENESIS will combine these efforts to tackle pertinent questions in this field that could not have been addressed before: We will systematically dissect known nucleic acid sensing pathways in the human system to explore their unique roles, cooperativity or redundancy in detecting non-self nucleic acids. We will perform polyclonal, genome-wide loss-of-function screens to elucidate signalling events downstream of intracellular DNA and RNA sensing pathways and their roles in orchestrating antiviral effector mechanisms. Moreover, in a large-scale perturbation study, we will specifically address the role of the kinome in antiviral innate immune signalling pathways, exploring the role of its individual members and their epistatic relationships in orchestrating gene expression. Altogether, these studies will allow us to obtain insight into innate immune signalling pathways at unprecedented precision, depth and breadth.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Günter Mayer
Life & Medical Sciences (LIMES)-Institut
Bereich Chemische Biologie und Medizinische Chemie
Gerhard-Domagk-Str. 1
53121 Bonn

Abstract

Light-sensitive channel proteins have attracted much attention as functional molecules, as they possess unique conformations and functions depending on their respective irradiation states. Embedding these proteins in heterogeneous cellular frameworks enabled to gain light-control of cellular and in particular neuronal behaviour. However to date, optogenetic solutions that address endogenous, intracellular biomolecules in a universal fashion remain elusive. The project will apply design and selection strategies aiming at nucleic acid molecules that can be controlled by irradiation with light and which we have developed in preliminary studies. This will now be taken significant steps forward by generating modular allosteric ribonucleic acid (RNA) assemblies that respond to light. These assemblies provide a generic solution and represent long-sought methods to complement the optogenetic toolbox. The aim of this project is the generation of allosteric molecules built from at least two RNA domains; one domain that binds to a soluble photoreceptor protein (PRP) in a light-dependent manner and a second RNA domain, whose protein inhibiting function in turn depends on the binding state of the PRP-recognizing part. We will construct lightresponsive allosteric RNA assemblies that can be ubiquitously used in cells and in vivo, independent of specific model organisms, for optogenetic control and spatiotemporal analysis of endogenous, intracellular biomolecule function. The project is highly interdisciplinary and will open novel routes for biomolecule analysis in cells and in vivo. It has implications ranging from life sciences to optogenetics, and from combinatorial biochemistry to synthetic biology. As these new tools will be applicable by any scientist to analyse protein function at high spatiotemporal resolution, the project bears an enormous innovative potential.

Laufzeit

01.05.2014 - 30.04.2019

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Eicke Latz
Institute of Innate Immunity
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Abstract

The innate immune system protects the host from infections, detects and repairs tissue damage and functions to maintain tissue homeostasis. Several families of signaling receptors can recognize microbial substances or altered host molecules and orchestrate a coordinated inflammatory response. Inflammasomes are signaling platforms that control proteolytic activation of highly proinflammatory cytokines of the IL-1β family and thus, are relevant for infection control but are also implicated in mediating inflammatory diseases. In addition to recognizing several foreign signals, the NLRP3 inflammasome can sense sterile tissue damage, and a number of endogenous danger signals that appear in many common chronic inflammatory conditions. NLRP3 can be triggered by material released from dying cells and aggregated or crystalline substances, and its activation has been implicated in the pathogenesis of prevalent diseases in Western societies, including type 2 diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. The NLRP3 inflammasome can be activated by diverse signals, however, the molecular mechanisms that lead to NLRP3 inflammasome activation remain poorly understood. Using chemical biology screens, as well as proteomics analysis, we have identified that NLRP3 activity can be post-tranlationally regulated by phosphorylation and ubiquitination.

In this proposal we aim to identify the enzymes and signaling mechanisms leading to NLRP3 activation. In an integrated, multidisciplinary approach, we will employ chemical biology screening to identify novel targets that act in the regulation of NLRP3 and will describe the NLRP3 interactome in response to various triggers. The data obtained by these approaches will be analyzed by bioinformatics, and the signaling mechanisms identified will be subsequently confirmed using RNA interference and gain-of-function studies. Utilizing a range of biochemical, biophysical and immunological techniques, we will determine the mechanisms by which the identified molecules can activate the NLRP3 inflammasome and assess their physiological relevance in in vitro and in vivo models of inflammation.

Laufzeit

01.07.2014 - 30.06.2019

Principal Investigator

Prof. Michael Köhl
Physikalisches Institut
Nussallee 12
53115 Bonn

Abstract

We explore unconventional ways how ultracold fermions pair and form collective quantum phases exhibiting long-range order, such as superfluidity and magnetically order. Specifically, we plan to realize and study pairing with orbital angular momentum and pairing induced by long-range interaction. Besides the fundamental interest in unravelling unconventional pairing mechanisms and the interplay between superfluidity and quantum magnetism, our project will also lead to gaining experimental control over topologically protected quantum states. This will pave the way for future topological quantum computers, which are particularly robust to environmental decoherence.

Our project addresses three different aspects: (1) We plan to realize p-wave superfluids in two dimensions. This quantum phase exhibits topological excitations (vortices) with anyonic statistics and an isomorphism to the fractional quantum-Hall effect. We will investigate the unusual properties of p-wave superfluids, such as Majorana fermions, i.e. quasiparticles being their own anti-particles, which are predicted to be localized at vortices. This will boost the long-standing efforts in the cold atoms and condensed matter communities to understand topological states of matter. (2) We aim to realize d-wave pairing in optical lattices using a novel experimental approach. d-wave pairing is closely related to high-Tc superconductivity in the cuprates and we are interested in exploring its interplay with magnetic order. Superfluidity and magnetic order are antagonistic phenomena from a conventional BCS-theory point-of-view and hence several fundamental questions will be answered. (3) We plan to induce long-range interactions using a high-finesse optical cavity leading to a light-induced pairing mechanism. We will search for Cooper pairing in spin-polarized Fermi gases mediated by the interaction of Fermions with a quantized light field. This provides access to a new class of combined light-matter quantum states.

Laufzeit

01.10.2014 - 30.09.2019

Principal Investigator

PD Dr. Markus Cristinziani
Physikalisches Institut
Nussallee 12
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The discovery of a new particle, compatible with the Higgs boson, at the Large Hadron Collider, marked a major triumph of the Standard Model of particle physics. However, many fundamental questions remain and direct or indirect evidence of new physics can be probed with the large number of proton-proton collision data, collected in 2011 and 2012 at 7 and 8 TeV centre-of-mass energy.

With this proposal we plan to exploit the large sample of top-quark pair events that is already recorded, and the sample that will be collected from 2015 onwards, at the ultimate energy of 14 TeV. In particular we plan to study the coupling of top quarks to neutral bosons, by measuring the production of associated tt̄γ, tt̄Z and tt̄H. Anomalous electromagnetic or weak couplings could be uncovered by studying kinematic properties of the resulting photon or Z-boson, once the signal is established. By studying the tt̄H production in detail the mechanism of Yukawa coupling of the Higgs boson to fermions will be tested, possibly providing important confidence in the characterisation of the new boson.

In all measurements we plan to include the tt̄ dilepton channel that, despite the smaller branching fraction has typically superior signal-to-noise ratios. An essential part of the programme will be the calibration of the btagging algorithms, where we plan to use tt̄ events. For associated Higgs production we will explore the decays H→ bb and H→ γγ.

Laufzeit

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2018


ERC Advanced Grant

Erfolgreiche ERC Advanced Grantees sind herausragende Wissenschaftler*innen, die bereits signifikante Forschungsleistungen gezeigt haben.

ERC Advanced Grantee
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ulf-G. Meißner - vom Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik der Universität Bonn erhält einen ERC Advanced Grant. © Volker Lannert/Uni Bonn

ERC Advanced Grants der Universität Bonn

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ulf-G. Meißner
Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik
Nussallee 14-16
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The least understood part of the so successful Standard Model of the strong and electroweak forces is the formation of strongly interacting composites, like hadrons, atomic nuclei and hypernuclei. In addition, the nucleosynthesis in the Big Bang and in stars is fine-tuned at various places, which immediately leads to the question how much these fine-tunings can be offset to still lead to an habitable universe?
Over the last decade, the PI and his collaborators have further improved the chiral effective field theory for two- and three-nucleon forces, have pioneered and refined the extension of this approach to baryon-baryon interactions and, most importantly, have developed nuclear lattice effective field theory, which enabled them to solve longstanding problems in nuclear physics, like the ab initio calculation of the Hoyle state in 12C. Based on these achievements, EXOTIC will provide answers to: i) where are the limits of nuclear stability? ii) what hypernuclei can exist, what are their properties and how is the equation of state of neutron matter modified by the presence of strange quarks? and iii) what limits on the fundamental parameters of the Standard Model are set by the fine-tunings in nucleosynthesis in the Big Bang and in stars?
Apart from answering these big science questions, EXOTIC will, as a by-product, develop methods in effective field theories and Monte Carlo simulations that will be of use in other fields, such as cold atom and condensed matter physics.

Laufzeit

2021 - 2026

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Karl-Theodor Sturm
Institut für Angewandte Mathematik
Endenicher Allee 60
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The project is devoted to innovative directions of research on metric measure spaces (`mm-spaces') and synthetic bounds for the Ricci curvature.

It aims to bring together two - currently unrelated - areas of mathematics which both have seen an impressive development in the last decade: the study of `static' mm-spaces with synthetic Ricci bounds and the study of Ricci flows for `smooth' Riemannian manifolds. A new ansatz - based on the concept of dynamical convexity - will enable to merge these two cutting-edge developments and will lead to the very first approach to Ricci
flows on singular spaces.

The project also aims to break up the limitations for the study of (generalized) Ricci curvature for mm-spaces, until now being restricted exclusively to spaces with uniform lower bounds for this curvature. For the first time ever, mm-spaces with (signed) measure-valued lower bounds for the Ricci curvature will be studied - the absolutely continuous, non-constant case being highly innovative as well. Besides Ricci bounds also Ricci tensors will be defined and utilized for novel insights and sharp estimates.

Furthermore, the project aims to initiate the development of stochastic calculus on mm-spaces and, in particular, to provide pathwise insights into the effect of (singular) Ricci curvature. The focus will be on pathwise optimal coupling, stochastic parallel transport, and derivative formulas. Both the static and the dynamic case are of interest. Methods from optimal transport and from stochastic calculus will be combined to push forward the analysis on path and loop spaces.

Each of these aims is important and worth in its own. Only in combination, however, they produce the dynamics, synergy effects, and cross-fertilization requested for maximum success. The anticipated breakthroughs of the project depend on exceeding classical borders of mathematical disciplines and on merging together topical developments from different fields.

Laufzeit

01.09.2016 - 31.08.2021

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lück
HIM (Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics)
Poppelsdorfer Allee 45
53115 Bonn

Abstract

Many milestone results in mathematics emerge from interactions and transfer of techniques and methods between dierent areas. I want to attack outstanding problems concerning K-theory, L2-invariants, manifolds and group theory. The time is ripe to use the exciting and profound progress that has been made during the last years in the individual areas to build new bridges, gain new insights, open the door to new applications, and to trigger new innovative activities worldwide lasting beyond the proposed funding period. 

The starting point are the prominent conjectures of Farrell-Jones on the algebraic K- and L-theory of group rings, of Baum-Connes on the topological K-theory of reduced group C-algebras, and of Atiyah on the integrality of L2-Betti numbers.

I intend to analyze and establish the Farrell-Jones Conjecture in other settings such as topological cyclic homology of \group rings" over the sphere spectrum, algebraic K-theory of Hecke algebras of totally disconnected groups, the topological K-theory of Frechet group algebras, andWaldhausen's A-theory of classifying spaces of groups. This has new and far-reaching consequences for automorphism groups of closed aspherical manifolds, the structure of group rings, and representation theory. Recent proofs by the PI of the Farrell-Jones Conjecture for certain classes of groups require input from homotopy theory, geometric group theory, controlled topology and ows on metric spaces, and will be transferred to the new situations. There is also a program towards a proof of the Atiyah Conjecture based on the Farrell-Jones Conjecture and ring theory. Furthermore, I want to attack open problems such as the approximation of L2-torsion for towers of nite coverings, and the relation of the rst L2-Betti number, the cost and the rank gradient of a nitely generated group. I see a high potential for new striking applications of the Farrell-Jones Conjecture and L2-techniques to manifolds and groups.

Laufzeit

01.11.2015 - 31.10.2020

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Armin Falk
briq
Institute on Behavior & Inequality
Schaumburg-Lippe-Strasse 5-9
53113 Bonn

Abstract

The main objective of the proposed research is to enhance our understanding of the critical role of institutions in affecting moral transgression. I aim at identifying institutional mechanisms operating in markets and organisations that promote immoral outcomes. The key question this project seeks to explain is why “ordinary” people endowed with a given moral conception engage in behaviours they would generally object to. While the focus is on immoral behaviour, the reverse inference is always intended as well: if we understand mechanisms that promote immoral behaviour, we can build on this knowledge to design institutions that limit those outcomes.

The importance of studying morality is self-evident. Harmful outcomes resulting from market interactions or organisational design include, e.g., detrimental working conditions, suffering of animals that are kept in inhumane husbandry, or environmental damage. The critical role of institutions has also been pointed out in most extreme cases such as the organisation of the Holocaust.

Morality is an elusive term but there exists an academic common sense that immoral behaviour involves harming others in an unjustified way. It is this definition of immoral behaviour that organises the project as reflected in the suggested experimental paradigms. The two main institutional categories I will consider are markets and underlying market mechanisms (WP1) and organisational mechanisms, in particular the role of pivotality, hierarchy, division of labour, delegation, and framing (WP2). In all experiments I causally identify the role of institutions by comparing the distribution of moral values in a baseline condition to the one arising from specific institutional set-ups. WP 3 will complement the analysis from a different angle, studying (i) individual determinants of immoral behaviour, (ii) moral development in children, (iii) and the effects of a randomised intervention (mentoring program) on moral judgment in children.

Laufzeit

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Istvan Mody
Klinik für Epileptology
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53127 Bonn

Abstract

Optogenetics are used to activate or silence specific sets of neurons, intracellular signaling pathways, or to examine brain structure at an unprecedented detail. The only optogenetic approach lagging behind all others is the genetically encoded optical monitoring of multi-neuronal activity at a time resolution of single action potentials. Such ultrafast (<1 ms) resolution is important to understand network function in healthy and diseased nervous systems because timing of neuronal firing and synchrony are the foremost determinants of brain function. Techniques exist to measure membrane voltage and/or cellular activity using optical probes, but all have drawbacks either in their genetic targeting, optical sensitivity and/or temporal resolution. Recent developments using genetically encoded hybrid voltage sensor (GEVOS) methodology showed that this approach has an excellent potential to become an ultrafast voltage sensing system. The GEVOS technique can easily be adapted to work with multiple colors simultaneously, thus recording the activities of genetically distinct cell types in the same preparation. The overall objective of this proposal is to advance the GEVOS method so that it can be used with multiple colors simultaneously in at least two different genetically targetable cell types. Two major advances are sought after in this proposal: a technical/ methodological innovation (improve upon the GEVOS technique and extend it to two fluorescent proteins) and a scientific vision. The latter relates to gaining insights into the parallel functioning of local microcircuits and the optical recording of the concurrent behavior of pre- and postsynaptic elements during GABAergic inhibition. These studies will advance high temporal resolution optical voltage sensing (the other side of optogenetics) and will provide an unprecedented look at the functioning of cortical microcircuits with their specific components monitored at the same time.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Martin Weitz
Institut für Angewandte Physik
Wegelerstr. 8
53115 Bonn

Abstract

Bose-Einstein condensation, the macroscopic ground state occupation of a system of bosonic particles below a critical temperature, has in the last two decades been observed in cold atomic gases and in solid-state physics quasiparticles. The  perhaps most widely known example of a bosonic gas, photons in blackbody radiation, however exhibits no Bose-Einstein condensation, because the particle number is not conserved and at low temperatures the photons disappear in the system’s walls instead of massively occupying the cavity ground mode. This is not the case in a small optical cavity, with a low-frequency cutoff imprinting a spectrum of photon energies restricted to well above the thermal energy. Using a microscopic cavity filled with dye solution at room temperature, my group has recently observed the first Bose-Einstein condensate of photons.


Building upon this work, the grant applicant here proposes to study the physics of interacting photon Bose-Einstein condensates in variable potentials. We will study the flow of the light condensate around external perturbations, and exploit signatures for superfluidity of the twodimensional photon gas. Moreover, the condensate will be loaded into variable potentials induced by optical index changes, forming a periodic array of nanocavities. We plan to investigate the Mott insulating regime, and study thermal equilibrium population of more complex entangled manybody states for the photon gas. Other than in an ultracold atomic gas system, loading and cooling can proceed throughout the lattice manipulation time in our system. We expect to be able to directly condense into a macroscopic occupation of highly entangled quantum states. This is an issue not achievable in present atomic physics Bose-Einstein condensation experiments. In the course of the project, quantum manybody states, when constituting the system ground state, will be macroscopically populated in a thermal equilibrium process.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Ursula Hamenstädt
Mathematisches Institut
Endenicher Allee 60
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The primary goal of the project is to obtain an understanding of geometric and dynamical properties of moduli spaces and mapping class groups. For the mapping class group of a surface of finite type, we are interested in subgroups, in particular in the trace fields of Veech groups beyond the case of genus 2. Convex cocompact surface subgroups are word hyperbolic surface-by-surface groups, and we aim at clarifying whether or not such groups exist.
Fine asymptotics of the distribution of periodic orbits for the Teichmüller flow on strata of quadratic or abelian differentials can be related to dynamical zeta functions. A Borel conjugacy of the Teichmüller flow on the moduli space of quadratic differentials into the Weil-Petersson flow will be used to analyze dynamical properties of the Weil-Petersson flow.
The handlebody group is a finitely presented subgroup of the mapping class group which however is not quasi-isometrically embedded. A new geometric model for the group will be used towards obtaining a comprehensive understanding of the geometry of this group, in particular with respect to calculating the Dehn function and quasi-isometric rigidity.
A similar geometric model for the outer automorphism group of a free group may yield hyperbolicity of the electrified sphere graph on which this group acts by simplicial automorphisms.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Dieter Meschede
Institut für Angewandte Physik
Wegelerstr. 8
53115 Bonn

Abstract

We propose to build a two-dimensional (2D) discrete quantum simulator based on ensembles of ultracold neutral atoms. In this system all degrees of freedom will be controlled at the quantum limit: the number and positions of the atoms as well as their internal (qubit) and vibrational states. The dynamics is implemented by discrete steps of spin-dependent transport combined with controlled cold collisions of the atoms.
Although numerous theoretical studies have considered this architecture as the most promising route to quantum simulation, it has not yet been realized experimentally in all essential aspects.
This simulator allows us to study dynamical properties of single-particle and many-body systems in engineered 2D environments. In single-particle discrete systems, also known as quantum walks, we plan to investigate transport properties connected to graphene-like Dirac points, and localization phenomena associated with disorder. In the many-particle setting we will realize 2D cluster states as needed for measurement-based quantum computation, as well as simple quantum cellular automata.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Michael Famulok
Life & Medical Sciences (LIMES)-Institut
Bereich Chemische Biologie und Medizinische Chemie
Arbeitsgruppe Chemische Biologie
Gerhard-Domagk-Str. 1
53121 Bonn

Abstract

DNA-nanotechnology has created different topologies, including replicable ones, nanomachines, patterns, logic gates, or algorithmic assemblies. Interlocked double-stranded (ds) DNA-architectures like catenanes or rotaxanes, wherein individual components can be set in motion in a controlled manner have not been
accessible. These molecules represent long-sought devices for nanorobotics and nanomechanics because they possess a unique mechanical bonding motif, not available to conventional building blocks. The project will apply an unprecedented, simple, and modular interlocking paradigm for double-stranded (ds) circular DNA geometries that we have developed in preliminary studies. This will now be taken several crucial steps forward by generating unconventional DNA-, protein-, aptamer-, and ribozyme hybrid architectures containing interlocked structures wherein the motion of individual components can be controlled in many different ways. We will design, construct, and evaluate switchable autonomous DNA-nanomachines that function as rotational motors, muscles, or switches for powering and manipulating nanoscale components. The DNA machines envisaged in this project will be applied, for example, in synthetic supramolecular self-assembly systems that emulate complex biological machines like motor proteins, nucleic acid polymerases, or ATPases. In addition, they will be developed for multiple purposes in biosensing, logic-gate- and memory circuit assembly, and catalysis. This efficient method for constructing interlocked dsDNA nanostructures opens the exciting possibility of conjoining the area of lifesciences with that of nanomechanical engineering, paving entirely new avenues for nanotechnology. The project is highly interdisciplinary and will open a new field with enormous innovative potential and implications ranging from chemistry to synthetic biology, and from the life sciences to nano-engineering.

Artikelaktionen

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Benny Moldovanu
Wirtschaftstheoretische Abteilung II
Lennéstr. 37
53113 Bonn

Abstract

Our main purpose is to construct a solid theoretical connection between the classical, non-strategic, dynamic allocation models used in Operations Research/Management Science/Computer Science, and between the modern theory of mechanism design.

The Economics literature has focused on information and incentive issues in static models, whereas the Operations  Research/Management Science literature has looked at dynamic models that were lacking strategic and informational aspects. There is an increased recent interest in combining these bodies of knowledge, spurred by applications to yield management, and by the emergence of decentralized platforms for interaction and communication among agents.

The planned research will focus on new models involving multidimensional incomplete information:

  1. Introduce incomplete information in the dynamic and stochastic knapsack problem;
  2. Allow for strategic purchase time in dynamic pricing models;
  3. Enrich the existing models by allowing for competing mechanism designers.

A general mechanism design approach needs to start with the characterization of all dynamically implementable allocation policies. Once implementable policies are identified, variational arguments can be used in order to characterize optimal policies. The ensuing control problems are often not standard and require special tools.

When there is learning about the environment, the information revealed by an agent affects both the value of the current allocation, and the option value of any future allocation. The main objective in this part are:

  1. Derive the properties of learning processes that allow efficient, dynamic implementation,
  2. Characterize second-best mechanism in cases where adaptive learning and first-best efficiency are not compatible with each other.

We expect that our theoretical results will generate insights for the construction of applied pricing schemes and many empirically testable implications about the pattern of observed prices associated in practice.


ERC Synergy Grants

Mit den ERC Synergy Grants werden Teams von zwei bis vier exzellenten Wissenschaftler*innen gefördert. Dabei kann es sich sowohl um Nachwuchswissenschafterl*innen als auch um etablierte Forschende handeln.

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
Errangen gemeinsam einen ERC Synergy Grant: (von links) Prof. Olivier Debarre von der Université Paris-Diderot, Prof. Emanuele Macri von der Université Paris-Sud, Prof. Dr. Daniel Huybrechts von der Universität Bonn und Prof. Claire Voisin vom Collège de France. © Barbara Fromman/Uni Bonn

ERC Synergy Grants der Universität Bonn

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Daniel Huybrechts
Mathematisches Institut
Endenicher Allee 60
53115 Bonn

Abstract

The space around us is curved. Ever since Einstein’s discovery that gravity bends space and time, mathematicians and physicists have been intrigued by the geometry of curvature. Among all geometries, the hyperkähler world exhibits some of the most fascinating phenomena. The special form of their curvature makes these spaces beautifully (super-)symmetric and the interplay of algebraic and transcendental aspects secures them a special place in modern mathematics. Algebraic geometry, the study of solutions of algebraic equations, is the area of mathematics that can unlock the secrets in this realm of geometry and that can describe its central features with great precision. HyperK combines background and expertise in different branches of mathematics to gain a deep understanding of hyperkähler geometry. A number of central conjectures that have shaped algebraic geometry as a branch of modern mathematics since Grothendieck’s fundamental work shall be tested for this particularly rich geometry.
The expertise covered by the four PIs ranges from category theory over the theory of algebraic cycles to cohomology of varieties. Any profound advance in hyperkähler geometry requires a combination of all three approaches. The concerted effort of the PIs, their collaborators, and their students will lead to major progress in this area. The goal of HyperK is to advance hyperkähler geometry to a level that matches the well established theory of K3 surfaces, the two-dimensional case of hyperkähler geometry.
We aim at proving fundamental results concerning cycles, at classifying Hodge structures and cohomological invariants, and at unifying geometry and derived categories. Specific topics include the splitting conjecture, the Hodge conjecture in small degrees, moduli spaces in derived categories, geometric K3 categories, and special subvarieties.
The ultimate goal of HyperK is to draw a clear and distinctive picture of the hyperkähler landscape as a central part of mathematics.

Laufzeit:

01.09.2020 - 31.08.2026


ERC Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept ist ein ergänzender Grant zu den Forschungsgrants des ERC. Er richtet sich ausschließlich an Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler, die bereits einen ERC Grant innehaben und ein Forschungsergebnis aus ihrem laufenden oder bereits abgeschlossenen Projekt vorkommerziell verwerten möchten. Dies ist der erste Schritt zum Technologie-Transfer.

ERC Proof of Concept
Prof. Dr. Volker Busskamp von der Universitäts-Augenklinik Bonn. © Sven Döring

ERC Proof of Concepts der Universität Bonn

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Volker Busskamp
Augenklinik
Ernst-Abbe-Straße 2
53127 Bonn

Abstract

One of the major causes of adult visual impairment and blindness in industrialized countries is the progressive dysfunction and death of photoreceptor cells (PR) as a result of retinal degenerative diseases. Current treatment options are still insufficient to counteract these forms of blindness. The development of many drugs and therapies fail in preclinical stages because the used animal models are suboptimal for translating results from the bench to the bedside. Especially, for testing the transplantation of human PRs, which is currently extensively explored as a treatment option for late stages of retinal degeneration, the biggest bottleneck is the lack of PR material in sufficient quantity and quality. Within the ERC Starting Grant ProNeurons, my team and I have developed a disruptive technology to differentiate human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to PR precursor cells by overexpressing three transcription factors yielding in up to 60% in only 10 days. Our technology allows fast, efficient and unlimited production of PRs essential as testbeds for drug screenings, for further disease research and for photoreceptor replacement therapies. We submitted already a patent application in 2019. Within the PoC actions, we strive for bringing the induced PRs closer to the market. We will finalize the last product development steps and FTO reviews to define the final products such as PR differentiation kits and/or cryopreserved PRs for research, development and therapy. We will identify and approach industrial exploitation partners for out-licensing or further funding. The final goal of commercializing the induced PRs is to aid the development of new drugs to treat retinal degenerative diseases.

Laufzeit

01.03.2021 - 31.08.2022

Legende

* ERC-Grantee hat den Grant mit der Universität Bonn als Hostinstitution eingeworben, ist aber inzwischen an eine andere Einrichtung gewechselt
** ERC-Grantee ist mit dem Grant zur Universität Bonn gewechselt
*** ERC-Projekt ist bereits beendet

Ihre Ansprechperson im Forschungsdezernat

Avatar Pag

Dr. Ulrike Pag

Dipl. Biol.

0.006

Poppelsdorfer Allee 47

53115 Bonn

+49 228 73-3073

Avatar Eder

Dorothee Eder

Dipl. Geogr.

0.007

Poppelsdorfer Allee 47

53115 Bonn

+49 228 73-7346

Sie möchten selbst einen ERC-Antrag stellen?

Informieren Sie sich über das Service-Angebot im Forschungsdezernat

Wird geladen