Uppsala projects in genetics and physics receive major grants from KAW Foundation

19 October 2018

Three research projects in physics and natural science led from Uppsala University have received a total of SEK 69 400 000 from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The projects have all been judged to have the potential to lead to future scientific breakthroughs.

“It is a number of promising and exciting projects at the forefront of international research that have been awarded grants. The Foundation supports long-term basic research beneficial to Sweden and gives researchers full freedom to formulate and examine their hypotheses. The applications are assessed by the foremost international researchers in their area,” says Peter Wallenberg Jr, chair of the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.

The Foundation has awarded a total of SEK 640 million to 22 research projects in medicine, natural science and technology. The following three projects have Uppsala University as their main applicant:

Kerstin Lindblad Toh at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology has received SEK 28 100 000 over five years for the project ”Deciphering the role of functional constraint and convergent evolution on genome regulation”.

Over the millions of years when mammals have developed, their genes have been changed so that every cell can be steered to form the specific proteins needed at different places in the body. In this project, researchers plan to use a new dataset of 200 recently sequenced mammals to be able to find regions in the genes that are not changed since they perform a specific conserved function. The researchers are also looking for regions or individual bases that have been changed specifically in one or more mammals.

Olle Eriksson at the Department of Physics and Astronomy has been awarded SEK 22 200 000 over five years for the project ”Dynamic Phenomena of Magnetic Materials”.

The researchers want to use this project to develop and apply leading theoretical methods both to answer as yet unanswered fundamental issues concerning dynamics in magnetic materials and to examine how relatively new magnetic phenomena can form the basis for future applications. One central part of this work is the development of new, improved calculation and simulation methods.

Henrik Johansson at the Department of Physics and Astronomy has received SEK 19 100 000 over five years for the project ”From Scattering Amplitudes to Gravitational Waves”.

The objective of this project is to develop new and effective analytical methods for theoretical calculations in particle physics, gravitation theory and string theory, covering processes across the whole range from subatomic collisions between elementary particles to astronomical collisions between black holes.

More Uppsala researchers may have received shares of other KAW grants as joint applicants in projects whose lead applicants are at another higher education institution.