IMP: Five ERC Starting grants for researchers at IMP and IMBA

3329 proposals in the area of life sciences were handed in for ERC grants in 2013. All IMP and IMBA applications were successful. Five researchers will get 1.5 Million Euro each paid over a period of five years.

ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams.

Luisa Cochella – MIRSPECIFICITY (title: Spatio-temporal specificity of miRNA function), IMP Groupleader since 2013
Luisa Cochella is using the genetic model system C. elegans to study  the contribution of post-transcriptional regulation of miRNA biogenesis and function to their spatio-temporal specificity, which is to this date virtually unexplored. She aims to identify post-transcriptional regulators of miRNA biogenesis and activity and dissect their contribution to generating specific spatio-temporal domains of miRNA function and in doing so, increasing cell-type diversity.

David Keays – CeMoMagneto (title: The Cellular and Molecular Basis of Magnetoreception), IMP Groupleader since 2013
David Keays is tackling a question of fundamental biological importance: How do animals detect magnetic fields. His overall objective can be divided into three specific aims: the identification of putative magnetoreceptive cells; the cellular characterisation of putative magnetoreceptive cells and the discovery and functional ablation of molecules specific to putative magnetoreceptive cells. Therefore he is developing and applying a range of innovative tools to identify and characterize magnetoreceptive cells and their specific markers.

Johannes Zuber - ChromatinTargets  (title: Systematic in-vivo analysis of chromatin-associated targets in leukemia), IMP Groupleader since 2011
Johannes Zuber is working on an innovative approach combining genetically engineered leukemia mouse models and advanced in-vivo RNAi technology to perform a comprehensive analysis of chromatin-associated vulnerabilities in leukemia. He aims to generate a comprehensive functional-genetic dataset of chromatin-associated vulnerabilities in leukemia and establish powerful RNAi reagents and the first co-RNAi screening system for high-throughput analyses of synergistic target interactions. His research will complement ongoing genome and epigenome profiling studies, and ultimately guide the development and use of new therapies for leukemia and, potentially, other cancers.

Stefan Ameres - miRLIFE (title: Molecular Characterization of the microRNA Life-Cycle), IMBA Groupleader since 2012.
Stefan Ameres aims to study the molecular mechanisms that regulate microRNA homeostasis. He aims to understand how distinct small RNA profiles are established and maintained to coordinate the expression of more than half of all protein coding genes in flies and mammals. Overall, his goal is to determine fundamental biological mechanisms of RNA silencing, a gene regulation pathway with enormous biological and biomedical impact.

Kikue Tachibana-Konwalski - ChromHeritance (title: Chromosoeme inheritance from mammalian oocytes to embryos), IMBA Groupleader since 2011
Kikue Tachibana-Konwalski aims to achieve a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of chromosome inheritance from oocytes to embryos. Her goal is to develop in vivo structure-function assays to investigate how chromatin reorganization and cell cycle progression are coordinated. With her discoveries in oocytes and zygotes insights into maternal age-related aneuploidy and infertility will be provided.

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