Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Three CRG young researchers receive recognition from the EU
The European Research Council (ERC), a funding body set up a year ago to drive European research policy by promoting scientific excellence, has recognised three young group leaders at the CRG as some of Europe's most promising new talents. Mark Isalan (I talked about him in a previous entry), Ben Lehner and Hernán López-Schier (the author of the nice zebrafish pic on one of my earlier blog entries) have been the recipients of an ERC Starting Grant. In the first year of this initiative they had to compete with more than 9,000 scientific proposals for the 300 existing grants. Finally, 24 of them went to Spanish centres, with more than half of these (15, or 5.3% of the total) recognising researchers at Catalan institutions.
The 300 bright minds selected are recent PhDs with an average age of 35, and 74% of them are male. The awarded budget is up to 2 million euros, and they have 5 years to carry out their projects. In the case of the three CRG researchers, Lehner will be trying to understand biological networks and their evolution; Isalan will be engineering zinc fingers to target cancer hub genes; and López-Schier will be studying regenerative innervation and neuronal circuit remodeling of sensory organs.