Dr Aoife Gowen awarded prestigious ERC Starting grant.


UCD Biosystems Engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Aoife Gowen recently commenced her ERC funded research project entitled 'Development of new chemical imaging techniques to understand the function of water in biocompatibility, biodegradation and biofouling' (BioWater).

Dr Gowen applied for her ERC award during her EU-funded Marie Curie Research Fellowship in the UCD School of Biosystems Engineering. Dr. Gowen's research area is multidisciplinary, involving applications of sensor technology and chemometrics to biological/food systems.

Dr Gowen was awarded the funding for her proposed research on novel chemical imaging techniques to understand important processes affecting biomaterials, such as biodegradation, biocompatibility and bio-fouling. A key question in her research is the role of water in these processes. This will be addressed using experimental chemical imaging approaches, combined with statistical analysis and molecular dynamics simulations. Responding to her award, Dr Gowen said "I am thrilled to be given this wonderful opportunity to establish my own research group and forge an important new research area in the EU.”

The ERC is a flagship component of EU research funding. Its main goal is to recognise the best research ideas, and confer status and visibility on the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad. ERC grants are awarded to individuals to enable them to pursue cutting-edge fundamental research. Grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe. The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence.

Further information on: http://erc.europa.eu/mission