How to build a society of cells?

Grant from Volkswagen Foundation for interdisciplinary project

Jochen Rink, research group leader at the MPI-CBG, together with Prof. Ashleigh Griffin (University of Oxford), and Prof. Bo Wang (Stanford University) receives a 1.4 million Euro grant from the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung). With the interdisciplinary project “We are many – in search of principles that enable multicellular life” the researchers tackle the question of how cells organize into organisms as “societies of cells”. How do the myriad cells within a single animal cooperate or compete with each other, and how are potential conflicts between them resolved to produce functioning, healthy “individuals”? With the help of the planarian worm – an extraordinary model organism having very large numbers of highly potent stem cells – the international research team will obtain new insights into the existence of multi-cellular life.

Congratulations, Jochen and Rink lab!

The funding scheme „Life? – A fresh scientific approach to the basic principles of life” by the VolkswagenStiftung called for outstanding projects at the interface between natural and life sciences investigating the principles of life. In the current round of approvals, a total of EUR 9.8 million was approved for seven cooperation projects. The VolkswagenStiftung is the largest private research funder and one of the major foundations in Germany.