ERC Advanced Grants are the most prestigious grants awarded by the European Research Council (ERC). The grants are aimed at excellent researcher and guarantee long term funding for ground-breaking and high-risk projects.

Four out of seven Swedish grants to Stockholm University
On 22 April the ERC announced the researchers who will receive Advanced Grants starting in 2021. In total there are 209 grantees from 14 European countries. Seven grants go to researchers in Sweden. Four of these researchers work at Stockholm University – making the university the most successful in Sweden this year in receiving Advanced Grants.

The four grantees from Stockholm University are:

Meike Wagner, Professor of Theater Studies at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics

Christian Broberger, Professor of Neurochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Hiranya Peiris, Professor of Astrophysics at the Department of Physics and Director of the Oskar Klein Centre

Lars Pettersson, Professor of Theoretical Chemical Physics  at the Department of Physics

The researchers are granted approximately two million euro each over a period of five years.

Below you can read more on Christian Brobergers research project receiving ERC funding.


Investigating neuronal networks in brains
Christian Broberger, Professor of Neurochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, receives and Advanced Grant for the proposed project “E Pluribus Unum: Principles and Plasticity of Electrical Coupling in a Neuronal Network”.

It is well established that neurons communicate by releasing their transmitters over synapses. But it has now become increasingly clear that several of the brain’s cells also are coupled through so-called gap junctions, channels that allow direct communication between the interior of two neurons.

In the ERC-funded project Christian Broberger and his colleagues at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics will investigate how gap junctions are regulated and change the ground rules for neuronal networks. In their work, they will make use of a surprising species difference in electrical coupling that they recently demonstrated explains why male mice care for their pups, while rat fathers leave the parental chores to the mother.

“Gap junctions are not found in all neurons, but are strategically distributed in the nervous system, which makes them promising as e.g. drug targets,” says Christian Broberger.

Christian Broberger