The European Research Council (ERC) announced the winners of its latest Consolidator Grant competition for ambitious mid-career researchers today. Meritxell Huch and Dora Tang, both from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) in Dresden, are two of the 321 laureates of the 2023 ERC Consolidator Grants. The funding is part of the EU’s Horizon Europe program, and the winners will receive a total of 657 million euros to tackle big scientific questions. In total, 2222 applicants submitted proposals, of which about 14% were successful in receiving funding. The future grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centers across 18 EU Member States and other countries associated with Horizon Europe.
Meritxell Huch receives the grant for her project “Mechanisms of liver regeneration and disease across scales; from molecules to cells and tissue.” She explains, “In this project, we aim to uncover principles of liver repair and disease across different biological scales and ultimately exploit this knowledge to reconstruct the tissue in a dish.” By properly comprehending these molecular and cellular mechanisms, it may be possible to uncover novel principles governing liver biology.
The project of Dora Tang, “Unravelling the chemico-physical principles of life through minimal synthetic cellularity,” wants to tackle a central problem in biological sciences: “How do biological cells and tissues sustain life from collections of non-living molecules?” The interdisciplinary approach of the project will provide novel tools. Dora says, “Designing and constructing synthetic cells with life-like properties from a minimal number of parts could enable an understanding of how living systems work from the perspective of physical chemistry.”
Congratulations, Meri and Dora!
Next to Meritxell Huch and Dora Tang, two other Saxon researchers also received a Consolidator Grant: Philipp Kanske (TU Dresden) and Yana Vaynzof (TU Dresden / IFW Dresden). Saxony's Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow congratulates, “The fact that four top researchers working in Saxony were successful in the international competition for the highly desirable Consolidator Grant makes it clear once again that smart women and men from all over the world are driving research forward at the highest level in Saxony. In addition to demonstrating scientific excellence, applicants had to show the groundbreaking approach of their project and its feasibility in order to receive funding. Congratulations on this achievement and good luck with your research!”
About the ERC
The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept Grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees bridge the gap between their pioneering research and the early phases of its commercialization.
Press Release of the Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism (in German)