Wim Bogaerts, Martin Guilliams, Koen Bostoen and Jo van Steenbergen receive ERC Consolidator Grant

(13-12-2016) Wim Bogaerts, Martin Guilliams, Koen Bostoen and Jo Van Steenbergen receive the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant of the European Research Council, each worth about 2 million euros.

The grants permit young researchers to conduct groundbreaking research during five years, and to build their own research.

The Ghent University laureates all obtained an above average score. Koen Bostoen and Jo Van Steenbergen receive their second ERC grant.

The European Research Council (ERC) is part of the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, and celebrates its tenth anniversary next year. In total, there are currently 52 ERC scholarships at Ghent University.

The winners and their projects

Thanks to the ERC Consolidator Grant, the Ghent University researchers can truly commit themselves in their field of research:

  • Wim Bogaerts (Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture) creates in the PhotonicSwarm project a new type of programmable optical chips that can be used for data communication applications and sensors, but also for optical calculations such as the encryption of secure fiber optic connections.
  • Martin Guilliams (Department of Biomedical Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science) aims to identify the factors that provide a unique tissue function to macrophages, which permits these cells to survive long in organs. This knowledge should allow to develop new therapies for diseases where macrophages play a central role.
  • Koen Bostoen (Department of Languages ​​and Cultures, Faculty of Arts) will extend the project BantuFirst ERC-CG. He brings together a unique interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, archeobotanici and historical linguists to study the first Bantu language communities south of the Central African equatorial forest. This project will include fieldwork in parts of Congo that have never been trodden by archaeologists.
  • Jo Van Steenbergen (Department of Languages ​​and Cultures, Faculty of Arts) focuses in the MMS-II project on the late medieval period in the Middle East and the large number of texts on the history of Islam. A better and different approach and interpretation of these texts can have a significant impact on the current knowledge of Islamic history. Thanks to the funding for the MMS-II project, the old Arabic texts can be further analyzed and interpreted.