The New York-based Simons Foundation has announced the award of a grant of 1.5 million dollars to LMU physicist Dieter Braun to further his research on the origin of life.
Dieter Braun, Professor of Systems Biophysics at LMU and a member of the Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM), has won a grant totaling 1.5 million dollars from the Simons Foundation, based in New York City, for a research project on “Non-equilibrium Mechanisms for the Biogenesis of Life”. Braun’s award-winning proposal is an extension of his ongoing exploration of the role of non-equilibrium processes in prebiotic evolution. His goal is to understand the mechanisms underlying the evolution, from simple chemical precursors to the first molecules that could store, replicate and transmit genetic information. The grant is funded by the Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life, a Simons Foundation program specifically designed to promote ground-breaking research on the evolution of the earliest biological systems.
Dieter Braun became Professor of Systems Biophysics at LMU in 2007, having previously led an Emmy Noether Research Group at LMU’s Center for NanoScience. He has already received many prestigious awards for his work. In 2010 he obtained an ERC Starting Grant worth 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council and, in the following year, he received the Klung-Wilhelmy-Weberbank Prize for Science.
The purpose of the Simons Foundation is to stimulate advances in Mathematics and Basic Sciences that contribute to a deeper understanding of our world. In 2014 the Foundation set up a new funding program dedicated specifically to supporting innovative projects that promise to throw new light on the origins of life.