Developing self-assembled materials for photonic devices

Eva Otón: Photonic devices are present in everyday life: from TV screens, holograms, phones, PC displays and fibre optical communications to avionics. All these are examples of photonic devices – devices that are able to manipulate light with an external control. The general objective of this project was to develop new families of photonic devices to manipulate guided and unguided light beams using novel materials.

Fire, and then the ice: the core of supercontinent Rodinia in the Neoproterozoic

Ashley Paul Gumsley: It is now emerging that our wandering continents came together and diverged throughout Earth’s history, a process known as the Supercontinent Cycle. The last known supercontinent was Pangea, which began to break apart in the time of the dinosaurs. However, this has been shown as just one of many supercontinents back in time, with the supercontinent before Pangea known as Rodinia existing up to one billion years ago, and which was the focus of this project.

Shedding light on HIV latency

Anna Kula-Pacurar: There are almost 40 million people throughout the world living with HIV. 35 years after its discovery there is a good anti-HIV therapy; however, this treatment cannot fully eliminate the virus. 

Europeanisation from a Central European perspective

James Wesley Scott: The development of the European Union is often linked to ideas of ‘Europeanisation’, which sometimes suggests a one-sided exportation of values and rules from West to East. At the same time, the notion of an East-West gap within the EU emphasises economic, political and cultural differences. However, is this an accurate reading of the situation?

Carbon nanostructures for sustainability

Dawid Witold Janas: We are living in times when energy demand is growing at such a fast pace that it will not be long before we encounter a huge crisis unless discoveries come to light to avert it. What we need is a new generation of electrical conductors, more efficient, ecologically-friendly and sustainable. A recently discovered form of carbon called carbon nanotubes seems like one of the most viable candidates to accomplish this goal.

Investigating the role of mitochondrial proteins in cancer

Carlo Vascotto: Cancer is a complex disease caused by interactions of multiple factors, such as genetic predisposition, environmental and lifestyle influences, infectious agents and ageing. Due to the complexity of this pathology, cancer research includes basic research, strategies for prevention, development of early diagnostic tools, and translational approaches for treatment and cure.

Protein-graphene system for bio-organic photovoltaics

Silvio Osella: The goal of this project was to expand the knowledge of hybrid, protein-graphene systems by assembling a team of computational chemists and physicists. We focused on the theoretical study of a new hybrid protein-graphene system, as a candidate for bio-electronic devices, such as biosensors and bio-organic photovoltaic cells (bio-OPV).