Prestigious ERC Consolidator Grants for three CRIG researchers!


The Consolidator Grants of the ‘European Research Council (ERC)’ aim to support excellent scientists at the career stage where they may still be consolidating their own independent research teams to pursue their most promising scientific ideas.

This year, three CRIG researchers received such a prestigious grant! 

  • Prof. Jonathan Maelfait: in his ‘ZIGNALLING’ project, Jonathan aims for a detailed mechanistic understanding of ZBP1 function. ZBP1 is a nucleic acid sensor that recognizes Z-nucleic acids (thermodynamically unstable conformers of double-stranded RNA/DNA helices) and can induce antiviral and anticancer immunity upon activation. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop strategies for therapeutic interference with ZBP1-mediated immune responses, f.e. to promote antiviral or anticancer immunity. Interestingly, Jonathan received a CRIG YIPOC grant in 2021 to conduct research on the interaction between ADAR1 and ZBP1 and its relevance in cancer. You can watch the movie via this link
  • Prof. Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke: the development of effective drugs for diseases of the central nervous system, ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to brain tumours, encounters significant challenges, mainly due to the CNS barriers that obstruct their deilivery. In her ERC DeliChoP project, Roosmarijn will explore ways to breach these barriers. One of the research lines that her team will further investigate is the use of nanobodies to transport a peptide drug into the brain via the choroid plexus. Interestingly, Lien Van Hoecke received a YIPOC grant in 2022 to explore this type of delivery for the treatment of brain tumours. You can watch her movie via this link
  • Prof. Lynn Vanhaecke: the MeMoSA project aims to demonstrate that the whole of small molecules (the metabolome) in an individual’s body can be predicted on the basis of its sources, i.e., dietary intake, microbiome, lifestyle, drug intake, psychological factors, clinical markers, etc., and as such serve as a framework to revert unhealthy to healthy metabotypes through personalized interventions in children. Lynn Vanhaecke and her team hope to develop a novel and rapid metabotyping method, which has the potential to be implemented in routine clinical practice.  

Read more in the UGent newsitem (also the source of this newsitem) via this link