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VILLUM Synergy

There is synergy between computer science and chemistry

Left: Prof. Ira Assent, Right: Prof. Birgit Schiøtt. Photo: AU foto

Congratulations to Professor Ira Assent (Department of Computer Science) and Professor Birgit Schiøtt (Department of Chemistry and iNANO) who have received a VILLUM Synergy grant of DKK 3.0 million for development of new cluster models that can provide a more accurate insight into proteins at the molecular level.

The two professors from the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Chemistry are teaming up to create new cluster models that can provide a complete and detailed insight into the movements of proteins at the molecular level. The current models compress the input to handle the complexity of the huge data sets. A complete analysis is therefore a long and very expensive process.

With this project, Assent and Schiøtt will address the shortcomings of previous models, thereby creating new and more efficient cluster models, patterns and algorithms that can analyze the huge data sets and establish a complete picture of molecular motions. Where a very long process is used today, you want to optimize the analysis through several short simulations, which still give as valid a result as the current process.

The project contributes to the data mining research field in computer science with new concepts and algorithms in moving cluster detection, and to the computational biology/chemistry fields with new findings on the behavior of proteins at much reduced computational cost.


*** Facts about Villum Synergy ***

The emergence of digitalization, artificial intelligence and big data provide us with the opportunity to link computer science to other research areas. To make the most of that opportunity, VILLUM FONDEN established Villum Synergy in 2019 as a way to strengthen excellent interdisciplinary research in Denmark. The programme is open to research collaborations involving an individual conducting research in the field of computer science, statistics or applied mathematics, and an individual conducting research in one of a raft of other fields.

Although this was the first time the VILLUMFONDEN presents the Villum Syngergy grant, there has been great interest from applicants. The VILLUM FUND received a total of 82 applications; Of those, 13 applications were for large projects in established collaborations, and 69 applications for initiation projects for start-up of new collaborations. Two major projects and six pilot projects receive a total of DKK 52.5 million. The full list VILLUM Synergy recipients can be found at: https://veluxfoundations.dk/en/content/setting-synergy-motion-grants-interdisciplinary-research