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Multiple grants from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Carlsberg Foundation

A large group of Department of Chemistry researchers have received grants from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Carlsberg Foundation.

Below, all receiving researchers are listed with the amount granted and for what project they have received the grant.

Assistant Professor Jonas Elm receives 2,864,313 DKK (approx. $434,900) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to study arctic amplification. ‘Arctic amplification’ is the term for the process making the Arctic warming more than twice the global average. This is a problematic climate issue, and we understand the fundamental processes leading to this phenomenon poorly. The formation of low-lying clouds is believed to contribute to the accelerated warming, but how these clouds are formed remains uncertain. For clouds to form, they need an aerosol particle surface for water to condense on. The largest source of aerosol particles (up to 90%) comes from new particle formation (NPF) via nucleation of gas phase vapours. However, it is highly uncertain, which compounds that contribute to the NPF process. In this project, Jonas and his research group will address how new particles are formed in the Arctic using a combination of quantum chemical calculations and kinetics modelling. Their calculations will yield explicit molecular level insight into new particle formation in the Arctic, thus bringing us one step closer to understanding and mitigating the Arctic Amplification.

Professor Jan Skov Pedersen of iNANO receives both a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Carlsberg Foundation.
From the Novo Nordisk Foundation, he receives DKK 3,000,000 (approx. 455,500 US $) for the UNISURF project. In this project, analytical methods for determining the purity of proteins will be developed. Purity is paramount when laboratory-produced proteins, for example in the form of antibodies, are used as drugs for the treatment of immunological and neurological disorders and of various cancers. The most common analytical technique for assessing purity uses the addition of anionic surfactant to the protein and separation in an electric field. In the project, equipment that uses a high-resolution version of the technique will be purchased. The equipment, along with a number of other techniques that ar available in the research group's laboratory, will be used to uncover the mechanisms of surfactant binding for both proteins where the technique does not work and where it works, so that it can be improved and applied for all proteins. 
From the Carlsberg Foundation, he receives 492,480 DKK (approx. $74,800) to install an upgrade with new technologies on the special Gallium liquid metal jet X-ray source. This source is used for performing small-angle x-ray scattering experiments, which is a unique technique for determining the structure of nano-sized particles in solution. The upgrade will give higher flux and higher stability of the X-ray source, and it will provide more measuring time on the instrument. A broad range of research projects within biophysics, nanoscience, food science, dairy research, structural molecular biology and drug delivery will benefit from the upgrade. 

Assistant Professor Shuai Wei receives 2,990,757 DKK (approx. $454,000) for his project, aimed to develop new types of amorphous metals for 3D printed biomedical devices. Unlike conventional metals, amorphous metals have the disordered atomic arrangement and exhibit an extraordinary combination of properties, such as high strength, hardness, large elastic limit and high corrosion and wear resistance. The application of new 3D printed biocompatible amorphous metals in the context of biomedical devices and surgery may substantially improve the life quality and comfortableness of patients. 

Associate Professor Victoria Birkedal of iNANO is granted 2,997,753 DKK (approx. $455,100) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation for her project, ‘Dynamic multivalent interactions at the single molecule level’.

Professor Karl Anker Jørgensen receives a grant of 2,783,063 DKK (approx. $422,500) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation for his project, 'Expanding the borders of chemical reactivity to investigate bioactivity'.

Professor Anja-Verena Mudring receives 1,653,934 DKK (approx. $251,100) from the Carlsberg Foundation for her project, 'Pushing the Green Transition', which aims to provide a technology for economic, energy efficient and environmentally benign lighting. That requires developing the fundamentals of a new, potentially game-changing technology. Towards that goal, Anja will use this funding to buy a research-grade spectrofluorometer to assess light-emitting electrochemical cell (LEC) emitter materials and demo devices.

Professor Merete Bilde is granted 3,571,604 DKK (approx. $542,200) from the Carlsberg Foundation. She and her research group seek to understand how molecules around us affect human health and climate. To determine this, it's important to know whether these molecules are present in the gas phase or in aerosol particles. Therefore, the group will use the grant to acquire a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer, which will allow the researchers to identify and quantify semi-volatile organic molecules in aerosols and in the surrounding air. This instrument will also be of benefit to Associate Professor Marianne Glasius' and Assistant Professor Jonas Elm's research groups, as well as other researchers at Aarhus University.

Professor Mogens Christensen receives 980,000 DKK (approx. $148,800) from the Carlsberg Foundation. Mogens' grant is for purchasing an electron backscattering diffraction detector. The detector will allow determining the structure, orientation, size and shape of materials on a local nanometer scale. The detector will be used for investigating magnetic materials, where all length scales - atomic, nanometer and micrometer - are paramount for determining the magnetic properties. The detector has a broader perspective as it is pivotal for a paradigm shift in materials science to also include the micrometer scale in optimizing advanced functional materials. 

Professor Kurt Vesterager Gothelf from iNANO receives 1,266,113 DKK (approx. $192,200) to purchase a common mass spectrometer that can accurately distinguish modified biomacromolecules from those that have not been modified. The functions of all living things are controlled and performed by DNA and proteins which are biomacromolecules. When studying and using these biomacromolecules in research and in the development of new potential drugs, small molecules are often bound to the biomacromolecules. It can be dyes so that one can study them by microscopy or it can be a drug where the biomacromolecules bring the drug to the cells where it is to work. This is also used in many other research areas. 

Congratulations to all of you.