April 2022

Three ERC Advanced Grants and 7.2 million euro for CPI researcher

The European Research Council supports the projects of CPI faculty members Stefanie Dimmeler, Andreas Zeiher and Ivan Đikić with a total of 7.2 million euro for their high-risk projects aiming towards scientific breakthroughs. Stefanie Dimmeler and Ivan Đikić will receive the grant already for the third time, illustrating once more the scientific excellence of the Institute.

The exploration of the following topics will be funded for the next five years:

CHIP-AVS (Andreas Zeiher): The most common acquired heart valve disease is degenerative aortic valve stenosis. In this disease, the valve tissue is thickened and calcified. CHIP mutations in white blood cells might play a role in this process and will be characterized more precisely in the project. The goals are to discover prognostic biomarkers and to identify starting points for possible therapies.

Neuroheart (Stefanie Dimmeler): As aging is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, knowledge about mechanisms underlying age-related changes is still scarce. In this project the unique interaction of nerves and vessels in the aging heart will be studied, which likely contributes to the development of age-related diseases of the heart muscle. The long-term goal is to lay the foundation for the development of therapies that contribute to healthy aging of the heart.

ER-REMODEL (Ivan Đikić): As the largest intracellular membrane system, the ER covers important functions in numerous processes. To fulfill its diverse tasks, the ER is constantly adapting its shape. Within his project, Ivan Đikić will explore how ER-phagy pathways are driving the entire process of membrane remodelling. The emerging data will not only provide new insights into organelle dynamics, but will also help to understand the impact of ER and ER-phagy on neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and infections.

ERC Advanced Grants are part of the main ERC frontier research grants 2022 funded by the European Union’s HorizonEurope Framework Programme (HE FP) for Research and Innovation. The ERC’s main frontier research grants aim to empower individual researchers and provide the best settings to foster their creativity. Scientific excellence is the sole criterion of evaluation.

More information here: ERC Frontier Research Grants