Durham receives research grant to discover what makes our universe tick
Durham University Professors are to receive a research grant totalling £4 million for research on both the evolution of the universe and the internal workings of cells.
Professor Carlos Frenk, Director of the University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, has been awarded £1.9 million. A further £2.1 million goes to Professor David Parker, of the Department of Chemistry. The remaining £2.4m is to be divided between Dr James Baldini (Earth Sciences), Dr Rebecca Sear (Anthropology), and Dr Jan Westerhoff (Philosophy).
Recipient Professor Frenk co-ordinates research aimed at testing theories about the evolution of the universe, the nature of its main constituents – dark matter and dark energy – and the processes responsible for the formation of galaxies.
The research will provide a critical test of the “Cold dark matter” theory of the universe which Professor Frenk and collaborators have been developing over several years.
According to Frenk, the grant will support “a concentrated effort to find out what makes our Universe tick”.
Professor Parker’s work, meanwhile, will focus upon the development of tiny molecular probes, designed to allow scientists to monitor the bioactive chemical species that fulfil vital functions inside living cells.
Although at its early stages, the work could potentially have implications for the diagnosis of medical conditions.
Professor Tom McLeish, Pro-Vice-Chancellor at Durham University, said: “These prestigious awards highlight the strength and breadth of the University’s expertise, which is at the forefront of research across a range of academic departments”.