31 March 2021

LiU has been awarded two EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowships for international postdocs. The projects will look at soft microrobots and how cancer spreads to the bones.

Photo of microrobot.Manav Tyagi with a micro robot. Photo credit Olov PlanthaberAnna Fahlgren, professor in the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (BKV) will lead the MECHANiCM project. The researchers hope that by investigating what causes cells from breast and prostate tumours to spread through the body to bone tissue they will increase our understanding of how to stop the spread of cancer from the original tumour. The project will take a new approach – focussing on how mechanical factors can influence the spread of cancer cells to bone tissue.Anna Fahlgren.Anna Fahlgren. Photo credit Thor Balkhed

“Maria Kalli from the University of Cyprus will bring knowledge of how pressure affects the aggression of cancer cells, and we will combine this with my ongoing research into how shear forces influence communication between cancer cells and bone cells”, says Anna Fahlgren.

A Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship will finance Maria Kalli’s postdoc for two years. The award has a value of just over EUR 200,000, or approximately SEK 2 million.


The second project deals with the manufacture of soft microrobots from various gels and polymers, and will be led by Edwin Jager at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology (IFM). Bobins Augustine from India, currently working at the University of Oulu in Finland, will come to LiU to work in the SAMURAI research project.Edwin Jager.Edwin Jager.

“We plan to manufacture amphibian, soft microrobots – small robots that can move through air and under water – in the project. The long-term objective is to manufacture microrobots that can perform microsurgery and release pharmaceuticals in the body”, says Edwin Jager.

Bobins Augustine’s postdoc will be funded with a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship amounting to approximately EUR 192,000 euro, or around SEK 1.95 million.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are financed by the EU through the Horizon 2020 research framework. Individual Fellowships give experienced researchers in all research fields the opportunity to conduct research in another country. Competition for these fellowships is fierce, and in 2019 the approval rate was around 13%.


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