UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


UCL researchers awarded two ERC Consolidator Grants

Giuseppe Battaglia (L), John Morton (R)

13 December 2017

Giuseppe Battaglia, Professor of Molecular Bionics (UCL Chemistry) and John Morton, Professor in Nanoelectronics and Nanophotonics (UCL London Centre for Nanotechnology) have both been awarded prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants.

ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers of any nationality and age, with at least seven and up to twelve years of experience after PhD, and a scientific track record showing great promise.

The ERC announced last week the awarding of the Consolidator Grants that go to 329 top researchers across Europe. The funding, part of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, is worth €630 million in total and will give the recipients a chance to have a far-reaching impact on science and beyond.
Professor Battaglia's research involves the design of a completely new platform for drug delivery. It will combine an existing repertoire of molecular engineering tools based around established approaches to design responsive nanoparticles known as Polymersomes.

These will be integrated with new features using clinically safe and biodegradable components that will make them super-selective and chemotactic toward glucose gradients. . This will enable the delivery of large therapeutic payload into the central nervous systems and the brain, specifically targeting cancer cells.

Professor Morton's research involves the coherent control of electron and nuclear spins in solid-state materials and devices, with a focus on quantum technologies. Quantum technologies exploit quantum superposition and entanglement to achieve major advances over current technologies in areas including communication, sensing and information processing. 

This approach is inspired by a recent blueprint for the implementation of a fault-tolerant quantum computer using donors in silicon, permitting full correction of quantum errors even with the limited positional accuracy with which donor atoms can be implanted into the surface of the silicon.
Professor Morton said "Getting an ERC grant feels like winning the lottery. Obviously I'm delighted and this long-term funding ERC grant will enable me and my research group to tackle some of the most fundamental and challenging problems in quantum computing and sensing applications in their full complexity."
Professor Battaglia added, "This grant will catalyse our activities on drug delivery to the brain. Moreover, it will allow us to explore completely new areas that can potentially change our way to design nanomedicines"