Dr. Jörg Gsponer receives NFRF Exploration grant to expand our understanding of phase transitions

Dr. Jörg Gsponer

We are pleased to share that Dr. Jörg Gsponer (Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) has received a grant through the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2023 Exploration Competition.

The goal of the Exploration stream is to “inspire high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research”. With a focus on novel, unique research projects that, if successful, have the potential to have significant impact, NFRF will award $250,000 over two years to support Dr. Gsponer’s project titled, ‘Out of time: Combining AI, Statistical Physics and Biochemistry to Develop In-silico techniques for molecular scale simulation of nucleation events’.

Dr. Gsponer’s project will aim to model phase transitions such as biomineralization, where inorganic structures form from mineral crystallization in the body. Current understanding of the events that lead to these transitions is limited, as these processes are often complex and involve many different components. Dr. Gsponer’s goal with this project is to develop new, cross-disciplinary methods and tools that use parallel-in-time integration and machine learning approaches to characterize these events at the atomic level.

“The tools we hope to develop with this funding would help solve problems related to human health, such as the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as sustainable development through recycling. By having predictive modelling of these processes, we can accelerate the development of therapeutics and technologies to have an impact on human life and the environment.” – Dr. Gsponer


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