Consolidator Grants 2022: Examples of projects
Funding provided through the Consolidator Grants 2022 competition will help 321 researchers from 21 countries implement innovative projects in all scientific disciplines. This time we have selected three projects from Denmark, France and Lithuania to showcase some interesting examples of funded cutting edge research. These projects will explore innovative approaches to addressing chronic pain, the future of fibrous materials, and reshaping the study of historically used crops.
Personalized treatment for chronic pain
Chronic pain is a widespread and complex problem that affects people in different ways. This is due to a change in communication between different areas of the brain. Although there are several pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options, a significant percentage of people continue to experience pain despite treatment. Daniel Ciampi de Andrade strives to improve the treatment of chronic pain by tailoring it to each patient. Current therapies are often applied in a standardized manner, regardless of the state of the patient’s brain network. This generalized approach is also applicable to non-invasive neuromodulation (NIN) techniques, which are used as an alternative to drug-only regimens for the long-term treatment of various brain diseases.
The innovative goal of Dr. Ciampi de Andrade’s project proposal is to personalize the treatment of chronic pain based on local and global brain connectivity data. This will determine the best area of the cerebral cortex to be used as a treatment target and provide an ideal entry point to drive global brain connections towards normalized patterns for each patient. By tailoring treatment to each individual’s unique needs, Dr. Ciampi de Andrade hopes to restore broken connectivity between brain regions and significantly improve patients’ symptoms with minimal side effects.
Researcher: Daniel Champi de Andrade
Project: Personalized non-invasive neuromodulation for pain (PersonaNINpain)
Host institution: Center for Neuroplasticity and Pain, Department of Medical Sciences and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark
ERC funding: Euro 1.618.278 for 60 months
Fibrous materials as a green alternative to fossil fuel-based plastics
Plant-based fibrous materials such as cellulose, wood fibre, flax and straw are a sustainable alternative to fossil-based plastics. These materials are biodegradable, recyclable and often made from locally produced natural fibers. They are especially useful in packaging and filtering air and water. However, their main disadvantage is their sensitivity to moisture, which affects their performance and production processes. To solve this problem, only a few solutions have been proposed, mainly based on chemical treatment. In addition, current models are not based on general principles and therefore cannot be easily modified, extended or extended.
Camille Duprat’s project aims to address this limitation by understanding and modeling the behavior and properties of wet nonwovens, as well as their production processes. The goal is to develop a unified theory as well as innovative processes and materials that can be widely used in textile production. Professor Duprat and her team plan to create new experimental and theoretical tools and work with textile engineers to produce large-scale nonwovens with controlled properties. This research aims to close a key knowledge gap in this area and make fibrous materials a more viable alternative to plastics.
Researcher: Camille Duprat
Project: Elasticity, capillarity and absorbency of fabrics (ElCapiTex)
Host institution: LadHyX, Department of Mechanics, Polytechnic School, France
ERC funding: 1,999,474 euros for 60 months
Millet – key to agriculture past and future
Growing many different types of crops reduces the risks associated with producing food for human livelihoods. Throughout human history, people have grown thousands of different types of plants, while today most of the total calories consumed by humans come from rice, corn and wheat. This decline in biodiversity is critically exacerbating the agricultural risk to the global community. Scientists have already determined when certain cultures were domesticated and then disappeared in ancient times. However, we still do not fully understand how and why some cultures were accepted and others not, why some cultures were lost in the past, and what limited their geographical distribution in time.
Dr. Giedre Motuzaite Matuzevichute intends to fill this gap in knowledge through a multifaceted study of one particular crop – millet, which can be traced in space and time due to its unique biochemical properties. Prof. Motuzaite Matuzevichiute will use new methodologies, modeling techniques and modern plant physiology research to cover a large geographic area and trace the earliest millet colonizations in east-central Europe all the way to its northernmost areas of past cultivation. She seeks to learn how millet exploitation was introduced and changed throughout history, taking into account climate change, culinary preferences, human migration, and demographic factors such as gender and age. Along with changing the way we study the past of agriculture, Professor Motuzaite Matuzevichiute’s project promises to find out what influenced the adoption and rejection of crops over time in different geographic regions. Its findings can help us improve today’s food security, biodiversity and adaptability to a changing global climate.
Researcher: Giedre Motuzaite Matuzevichute
Project: Past and Future of Millet Foodways (MILWAYS)
Host institution: Faculty of History, Department of Archeology, Bioarchaeological Research Center, Vilnius University, Lithuania
ERC funding: Euro 1.999.489 for 60 months