Universität Bonn

28. November 2023

Two ERC Consolidator Grants for Bonn Mathematics Two ERC Consolidator Grants for Bonn Mathematics

The EU is putting up millions in funding for mathematical life sciences and pure mathematics projects

Another big success in securing grants from the European Research Council (ERC), with two Bonn mathematicians receiving an ERC Consolidator Grant: Jan Hasenauer of HCM's Interdisciplinary Research Unit (IRU) Mathematics and Life Sciences and Evgeny Shinder of the Mathematical Institute.

Jan Hasenauer
Jan Hasenauer © Barbara Frommann
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Using simulation technology in oncology

Every tumor is unique and its response to therapies is determined by innumerable changes within cells and their interactions. “Therapies tailored to specific mutations of a tumor can effectively extend, and in some cases even save, the lives of cancer patients,” reports Jan Hasenauer of the Life and Medical Sciences Institute (LIMES) at the University of Bonn. Newly emerging immunotherapy approaches in particular hold tremendous potential. Until now, decisions as to which therapy to pursue for a given individual have been made on the basis of simple statistical models, but these do not allow for a reliable prediction of therapeutic success. Jan Hasenauer is therefore working to develop simulation models for predicting tumor treatments in his project “INTEGRATE”, which has received roughly 1.9 million euros in funding. The project concentrates on breast, stomach and kidney cancers—which account for approximately 30% of cancer cases in Europe. To improve the prediction accuracy, Jan Hasenauer will use machine learning to render more data available for training the simulation models. These data sets will come from clinical practice, clinical studies and projects like The Cancer Genome Atlas. “My vision is to create digital twins of the cancer patients in order to achieve better treatment outcomes,” he explains.

Jan Hasenauer studied Technical Cybernetics at the University of Stuttgart, where he earned a doctorate in engineering. After working at Helmholtz Munich and the Technical University of Munich, he became Professor of Mathematics and Life Sciences at the University of Bonn in 2017. In 2022 he then assumed a preeminent Schlegel professorship, created as part of the Excellence Initiative. Professor Hasenauer is a member of the Transdisciplinary Research Areas Modelling and Life and Health, and of the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics and ImmunoSensation2 Clusters of Excellence.

Interactions between equations and shapes

The project initiated by Evgeny Shinder of the University of Bonn Mathematical Institute is titled “Motivic invariants and birational geometry of simple normal crossing degenerations”. Evgeny Shinder is a mathematician in the field of algebraic geometry, a branch of pure mathematics that studies the interaction between algebraic equations and geometric shapes. As part of his project, Evgeny Shinder will develop a new framework of birational types and invariants of simple normal schemes. Shinder aims to apply this new framework to revisit longstanding fundamental problems in algebraic geometry. The nearly 2 million euros in funding forthcoming under the ERC Consolidator Grant will enable Evgeny Shinder to form a research group, staffed by three postdocs and two doctoral students. “I now have five years just to do research - I will use this time to tackle challenging problems in algebraic geometry,” he commented.

Evgeny Shinder holds a PhD in mathematics from Northwestern University in Illinois, USA. He then worked as senior lecturer at the University of Sheffield before coming to the University of Bonn Mathematical Institute as visiting researcher in August 2022.

ERC Consolidator Grants

The European Research Council (ERC) awards ERC Consolidator Grants annually to fund projects of outstanding early-career researchers whose high-level scientific work is on par with international peers. The Grant funding is provided to enable building solid, independent research teams. For more information see here.

Evgeny Shinder
Evgeny Shinder © Evgeny Shinder
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