Prof. Ashkenazi from the chemistry department at Ben-Gurion University is engaged in a new field - chemistry of complex systems. The grant was given to him and an international research group of which he is a member
Prof. Gonen Ashkenazi from the chemistry department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is engaged in a new field - chemistry of complex systems. The grant was given to him and an international research group in which he is a partner. The group works to understand early processes in evolution and principles of organization of biological systems. The results of the research may help in the development of important devices in the field of nanotechnology and biotechnology.
Chemistry of complex systems is a new field in which the researcher deals, Prof. Gonen Ashkenazi from the chemistry department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Prof. Ashkenazi serves as the head of the Minerva Center for the study of the beginnings of life on Earth and other planets. His main research effort is devoted to the design and synthesis of multi-component chemical systems, called molecular networks, and the analysis of their dynamic self-organization. The research will lead in the future to the development of artificial cells, and to the understanding of the beginning of life on Earth.
Four groups from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Israel received the prestigious ERC Synergy grant to finance joint research. The research will allow them to understand new principles for the organization of biological systems, and shed light on possible scenarios in the first stages of evolution at the beginning of life. The researchers suggest that it will be possible to apply the research results to the development of devices for nanotechnology and biotechnology. The grant was given for 6 years and the share of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is about 3.4 million euros.
Prof. Ashkenazi explains: "Our work will demonstrate how artificial cells can be designed and prepared in the laboratory. It will shed new light on the possibility of preparing molecules and molecular aggregates that can build the medium in which they operate, accelerate chemical reactions in this medium and even reproduce themselves. If we achieve these three goals, it will be unprecedented."
The ERC is an organization on behalf of the European Union that funds outstanding researchers to conduct ground-breaking research throughout Europe. The ERC Synergy grant is given with the aim of bringing together groups of researchers to work together, thus combining complementary skills and resources to deal with particularly challenging research problems and to achieve breakthrough achievements.
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