Grégoire Courtine wins ERC Proof-of-Concept grant
Professor Grégoire Courtine has been awarded a Proof-of-Concept grant from the European Research Council.
The Proof of Concept (PoC) grants are given annually by the European Research Council (ERC) to researchers who already hold other ERC grants, in a range of research fields “from new health therapies to regenerate nerves, to prototyping soft robotic system for industrial handling, to building a charity that will promote welfare and job quality of digital workers of so-called ‘gig economy’.” Set up in 2011, the PoC grants are worth up to €150,000 and can be used for different purposes, including establishing intellectual property rights, investigating business opportunities, or conducting technical validation.
This year, the ERC has given 62 PoC grants, totaling €9.3 million. One of the winners is Grégoire Courtine, Professor at EPFL’s Brain Mind Institute. His lab develops neuroprosthetic systems, robotic interfaces, and advanced neurorehabilitation procedures, which they combine with neuroregenerative interventions in rodent and primate models of neurological disorders. Using genetically modified mice, optogenetics, viral tools, and whole-brain imaging, Courtine’s group seeks to uncover the neural mechanisms underlying the control of locomotion in intact animals, as well as the processes that re-establish motor functions after neuromotor disorders. They also perform clinical studies to test the efficacy of their interventions in human patients.