April 12 2017
“ERC Advanced Grants” for Susan Gasser, Rainer Friedrich and Helge Grosshans
The European Research Council (ERC) has announced that three FMI Group leaders will receive one of the highly competitive “ERC Advanced Grants”. The ERC will support Susan Gasser’s, Rainer Friedrich’s and Helge Grosshans’ ambitious projects and creative ideas for the next five years. These research grants are awarded in a highly competitive selection process featuring the best scientists across Europe.
Established top researchers
"ERC Advanced Grants" are awarded to established top researchers in Europe to enable fore-front research in all areas of scientific endeavor. In this round of evaluations, 231 senior European researchers have received funding, with a success rate of 9.6%. The awardees this year include three from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel.
Susan Gasser is the Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research and Professor at the University of Basel. Her research interests focus on mechanisms of DNA repair and replication fork stability, as well as the epigenetic inheritance of cell fate decisions. Her laboratory combines genome-wide mapping, synthetic lethal screens, quantitative live fluorescence imaging, biochemical reconstitution and genetic approaches in C. elegans and in budding yeast to address these questions at molecular and cellular levels. The ERC supports Susan Gasser’s project “Epiherigans - Writing, reading and managing stress with H3K9me”, which is a study focused on the effects of environmental stress on heritable epigenetic marks.
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Rainer Friedrich is a group leader at the FMI and Professor at the University of Basel. He is interested in the strategies that the brain has developed to extract, store and utilize information about its environment. He and his team are using the olfactory system of zebrafish as models to study the function of neuronal circuits and their dysfunction in disease. With the ERC Advanced Grant he wants to deepen his research on the connectivity, plasticity and function of olfactory memory circuits.
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Helge Grosshans is a Group leader at the FMI. With his team, he studies the molecular clocks that time animal development. His group employs quantitative, high-throughput, single animal-based approaches to understand how oscillatory gene expression enables timekeeping in the model organism C. elegans, a roundworm. In the ERC-funded project Cyclode, he will investigate the system-level properties and molecular mechanisms of a prototypical developmental clock.
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The success rate for FMI researchers is impressive: Since the launch of the ERC program 10 years ago, 19 grants have been awarded to FMI researchers at different stages of their career. "For a small institute such as the FMI, this is extraordinary and an impressive example of the exceptionally high-quality research carried out in our institute," said Susan Gasser, FMI Director. "It shows the extent to which FMI is respected in the global research community."