© Hector Fellow Academy
18. October 2023
New Young Researchers Start Their Doctoral Projects

Ten new young scien­tists will start their doctoral studies at the Hector Fellow Academy this autumn and will receive finan­cial support for up to four years

The 2023 selec­tion process for new doctoral positions in the Hector Fellow Academy has been completed. A total of ten highly quali­fied young researchers were success­ful in the appli­ca­tion process: Paul Greule, Maja Ilig, Richard Kantel­berg, Laura Lankers, Katha­rina Lauk, Tiago Lereno Mesquita, Matteo Rovere, Abhinna Sundar Saman­taray, Megha Vargh­ese Mukher­jee and Lochlan Walsh. They will begin their doctoral project at the Hector Fellow Academy in autumn. In addition to finan­cial support from the Hector Fellow Academy, the young scien­tists will benefit in partic­u­lar from top-class mentor­ing by renowned scien­tists, the Hector Fellows and Hector RCD Awardees. They become members of the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research network of the Hector Fellow Academy for the duration of their doctor­ate and will have the oppor­tu­nity to partic­i­pate in an advanced train­ing program tailored to the doctoral phase.

The Hector Fellow Academy is charac­ter­ized by its unique, inter­dis­ci­pli­nary exchange in the natural and engineer­ing sciences, medicine and psychol­ogy. This diver­sity is also reflected in the topics of the doctoral projects. The newly admit­ted young scien­tists focus on a wide range of research topics. One example is the study of rare genetic disor­ders in young children that are often fatal (Megha Vargh­ese Mukher­jee) or the search for the causes of Alzheimer's disease (Matteo Rovere). Another project focuses on person­al­ized medicine and how mathe­mat­i­cal model­ing can be used to better trans­late promis­ing thera­pies from research into clini­cal practice (Katha­rina Lauk).

At the inter­face of biology, physics, chemistry, and psychol­ogy are located other fasci­nat­ing doctoral projects. Among others, they address the follow­ing questions: What is the algorith­mic basis for pattern recog­ni­tion in insect polli­na­tors (Lochlan Walsh)? How does the contrac­tion of self-assem­bled DNA nanotubes work (Maja Illig)? Paul Greule explores the use of single magnetic molecules as build­ing blocks for new artifi­cial spin systems in quantum infor­ma­tion process­ing. Tiago Lereno Mesquita's research in Biolog­i­cal Psychol­ogy and Neuropsy­chol­ogy, meanwhile, focuses on neuronal mecha­nisms in sensi­tive phases of brain development.

Further­more, Andrea Gonsek, Henrik Habeck and Marina Homs were admit­ted to the Hector Fellow Academy as Associ­ated Young Researchers. The three doctoral researchers receive mater­ial resources for their research projects. They also have the oppor­tu­nity to partic­i­pate in the Hector Fellow Academy's train­ing program and in network­ing events.

In the upcom­ing year, the Hector Fellow Academy will once again fund outstand­ing doctoral projects and accept young scien­tists into its inter­dis­ci­pli­nary network for the duration of their doctoral project. The appli­ca­tion period starts on January 15, 2024 and ends on March 31, 2024.