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New Einstein Visiting Fellows for Berlin

The Einstein Foundation Berlin is providing 4.7 million euros to support new visiting fellows and projects.

News from Oct 18, 2017

From January 2018, the Einstein Foundation Berlin is contributing a total of 4.7 million euros for visiting fellows and research projects at the Berlin universities. The recipients of funding, at Freie Universität, Humboldt Universität, Technische Universität, and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin include seven foreign top researchers (who will form a research group in Berlin as Einstein Visiting Fellows) and two young researchers: an Einstein Junior Fellow and an Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellow. The Foundation funding has also embraced two further Einstein research projects and extended funding for five Einstein visiting fellowships by another two years. The topics of the projects range from particle physics through molecular genetics to the role of criticism in literary and cultural studies.

The Einstein Foundation will provide individual funding for the following researchers:

Einstein Visiting Fellows

Robert Burnap, Oklahoma State University/Freie Universität Berlin

Robert Burnap has won international recognition for his research into the formation of oxygen in oxygenic photosynthesis in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. At the Protonation Dynamics in Protein Function Collaborative Research Center in Berlin, the microbiologist and molecular geneticist will be working within biophysics on the question of whether, some three billion years ago, light-driven formation of manganese oxides may have engendered oxygenic photosynthesis. Findings will contribute, among other things, to the CO2-neutral production of nonfossil fuels through artificial photosynthesis.

Michel Chaouli, Indiana University/Freie Universität Berlin

Within the “Philological Laboratorium” Michel Chaouli will take a radical look at the role of criticism in literary and cultural studies. The aim of this distinguished German studies scholar is to test alternative approaches beyond criticism and thereby to open up new opportunities for describing the experience of art. Chaouli will conduct his research at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies.

Eduard Feireisl, Czech Academy of Sciences/Technische Universität Berlin

The mathematician is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of mathematical fluid mechanics. As the first Czech Einstein Visiting Fellow at the “Control of Self-organizing Nonlinear Systems” Collaborative Research Center, he will use mathematical theories to research the physical principles of complex fluids. Complex fluids play an important role in numerous industrial (e.g., LCDs) and medical processes (e.g., medicines). The fellowship is cofinanced by the Damp Foundation.

Dieter Jaeger, Emory University/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Dieter Jaeger’s neuroscientific research centers on an understanding of information processing by the basal ganglia and cerebellum, which are the core areas of the brain that lie beneath the cerebral cortex. At the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence, he is particularly interested in the flow of information from the basal ganglia to the cerebral cortex via the thalamus. Research in this area contributes to a better understanding of motor diseases such as Parkinson’s. The fellowship is funded by the Damp Foundation.

John Henry Maddocks, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne/Freie Universität Berlin

The mathematician John Henry Maddocks is a prominent expert in the field of multi-scale DNA modeling. His methods permit computer-simulated experiments to be carried out on DNA sequences to achieve replicable quantitative information on the physical qualities and behavior of DNA. Maddocks contributes to the work of the Berlin Mathematical School.

Peter Schröder, California Institute of Technology/Technische Universität Berlin

Peter Schröder is one of the best-known specialists in computer graphics in the world. The computer scientist’s research field is at the intersection of math, physics, and geometry theories and the practical application of these theories in computer graphics. In Berlin the Humboldt Research Award winner will reinforce the “Discretization in Geometry and Dynamics” Collaborative Research Center.

Edriss Titi, Texas A&M University/Freie Universität Berlin

Edriss Titi is an internationally acclaimed applied mathematician, whose special interests include fluid dynamics, turbulence, and geophysical flows. At the ”Scaling Cascades in Complex Systems” Collaborative Research Center, Titi’s research concentrates on theoretical and practical progress in understanding and simulation of the atmosphere and oceans.

Further extended funding was provided for the Einstein Visiting Fellowships of Richard Samuels (Graduate School of East Asian Studies, Freie Universität Berlin), Jesse Prinz (Berlin School of Mind and Brain), Stefan Keppler-Tasaki (Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School), Bernd Sturmfels, and Rahul Pandharipande (both Berlin Mathematical School), each for another two years.

Einstein Junior Fellow

Christian Bogner, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

A theoretical physicist, Bogner will receive funding as an Einstein Junior Fellow at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. His research field is particle physics at the intersection of math and physics. His particular interest is new classes of functions that play a role in the calculation of Feynman integrals.

Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellow

Amr Aswad, Freie Universität Berlin

Arriving from the University of Oxford, Aswad is a virologist who will take up the appointment of Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellow at Freie Universität Berlin. As a researcher into the herpes virus, he will be joining Lichtenberg Professor Benedict Kafue’s research group on resistance to virus infections and vaccines.

With respect to project support, the Einstein Foundation is funding the following Einstein research projects:

“Dynamics of Electrically Coupled Neuronal Networks”

Currently there is a shortfall of analysis of electrical synapses and their functional significance in neuronal networks. A research group led by Michael Brecht (HU Berlin) will address this situation, with one aim being to find out how effective is electric synaptic coupling and what influence it has at network level as well as on information processing and ultimately on behavior.

“Perceptions of Egypt. Drawings of the Prussian Egypt Expedition (1842-1845)”

The expedition led by Richard Lepsius was to have a lasting impact on the cultural and academic landscape of Berlin. Besides original artefacts, plaster casts, and copied inscriptions, it yielded drawings by five artists and two architects who were part of the expedition. The digital cataloguing and interdisciplinary evaluation of the drawings will be a shared Einstein research project for Freie Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung (Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection). The project heads are Tonio Sebastian Richter (Freie Univeristät Berlin) and Bénédicte Savoy (Technische Universität Berlin).

Currently the Einstein Foundation supports 30 Einstein Visiting Fellows, 16 Einstein Professors, two Einstein Junior Fellows, three Einstein International Postdoctoral Fellows, one Einstein Research Fellow, eight Einstein research projects, five Einstein Circles, three doctorate programs, and six Einstein Centers. The purpose of the Foundation is to fund science and research in Berlin at top international level and to help strengthen the city’s reputation as an attractive location for academic excellence.