Prof. Wall has received one of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grants for the project "BREATHE".
ERC Advanced Grants support excellent researchers at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognized track-record of research achievements. Candidates have to demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal and the selection process is purely based on scientific quality. This year it was an especially fierce competition, as only less than 8% of project proposals could be funded.
Although breathing is an essential process for humans and lung diseases are one of the leading causes of death, there are still a number of unsolved mysteries regarding vital processes in the lungs. The main reason for this is the lack of measurement methods or imaging techniques in crucial regions of the lung. Computer models of the lung are opening up new perspectives. While some of these models are already promising on their way to clinical use, even the best models still suffer from severe limitations. With the BREATHE project, Prof. Wolfgang A. Wall aims to develop unprecedented comprehensive computational models of the respiratory system. With crucial new developments in the field of high-performance computing, coupled tissue and fluid mechanics and the combination of machine learning and physical modeling, important open questions in biomedical research will be answered and, based on available heterogeneous patient data, decisive steps towards personalized medicine will be taken.
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organization for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe.