Caroline Slomp & Wilhelm Huck summit grant
Caroline Slomp & Wilhelm Huck summit grant

Summit Grants for research on climate change and the evolution of living cells

Wilhelm Huck and Caroline Slomp have both received a Summit Grant from the NWO with their research consortia. Thanks to this ten-year funding, the research groups can embark on their studies and also play a prominent role internationally.

The Summit Grant is intended for research consortia that have demonstrated through existing collaborations that they belong to the absolute world top or are very close, and can make the leap to the absolute world top with this instrument. The assigned projects have proven their worth in recent years by providing essential insights into their own scientific field.

The consortium in which professor Wilhelm Huck of Physical Organic Chemistry is involved has received a Summit Grant (worth 40 million euros) for research into the evolution of living cells from lifeless molecules. Caroline Slomp, professor in microbiology, has received a Summit Grant of 30 million euros for research on climate change.

Evolving living cells from lifeless molecules

What is life? To address this longstanding question, EVOLF will use lifeless biomolecules to build a living synthetic cell that has the attributes of living systems: autonomous growth, self-replication, communication, and evolution. To realize and integrate these complex cell functions, we will use laboratory evolution aided by artificial intelligence. In parallel, we will articulate ethical guidelines for responsible human control of synthetic life. Building a synthetic cell will yield an unprecedented deep understanding of biological life.

  • Lead applicant: Prof. Dr. C (Cees) Dekker - Delft University of Technology
  • Co-applicants: 
    Prof. T.S. (Wilhelm) Huck - Radboud University
    Prof. G.H. (Gijsje) Koenderink - Delft University of Technology
    Dr. K (Kristina) Ganzinger - AMOLF
    Prof. S.J. (Siewert-Jan) Marrink - University of Groningen
    Prof. M. (Marileen) Dogterom - Delft University of Technology
    Prof. M.J. (Jeroen) van den Hoven - Delft University of Technology

Learn more about EVOLF

Climate change now and beyond the 21st century:
A Proposal to establish the Earth systeM feedBack ReseArch CEntRe (EMBRACER)

Climate change is progressing rapidly, but may be amplified by feedbacks, such as CO2 emissions from thawing permafrost. EMBRACER, involving 23 leading climate experts, will investigate these feedbacks through an interdisciplinary approach. By connecting methodology and time scales, EMBRACER will bridge the gap between predicting short-term and long-term climate change. The centre also enables junior researchers' professional growth and leadership development.

  • Lead applicant: Prof. dr. A. (Appy) Sluijs - Utrecht University
  • Co- applicants:
    Prof. C.P. (Caroline) Slomp - Radboud University Nijmegen
    Prof. S. (Stefan) Schouten - Utrecht University
    Dr. J.E. (Jorien) Vonk - VU Amsterdam
    Prof. M.R. (Michiel) van de Broeke - Utrecht University
    Dr. A.S. (Anna) von der Heydt - Utrecht University
    Prof. J.J. (Jack) Middelburg - Utrecht University

Learn more about EMBRACER

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