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Four University of Oxford researchers have been awarded European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants of €2.5 million each over five years to explore their most innovative and ambitious ideas. These grants recognise ground-breaking projects led by researchers with a track record of significant research achievements.

The ERC is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research, and the ERC Advanced Grants are amongst the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes. They provide researchers with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects that could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. This latest call for proposals attracted nearly 1,650 applications, which had an overall success rate of 13.2%. Female researchers accounted for 23% of all applications, their highest participation rate in Advanced Grant calls up to now.

One of the grants has been awarded to Professor Dame Carol Robinson, Director of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience Discovery, to investigate how the mass spectrometry technology she has been developing over a number of years could be used in clinical applications. 

This will draw on Professor Robinson’s expertise in using mass spectrometry to provide unparalleled information on the structure, binding partners, and dynamics of proteins. In this new work, she will develop approaches to link the status of an intact protein receptor or transporter with its changing modifications and environment during disease progression. Ultimately, this could help reveal new targets for cancer treatment regimes.

Professor Robinson said: ‘I am delighted to receive this award. It will allow us to explore unchartered territory with approaches that I have spent my whole career developing. I am grateful to all of my team members – their ideas and willingness to push boundaries have allowed us to propose entirely new directions. I look forward to working with them, as well as our new collaborators at the Oxford Cancer Centre, to achieve our goals.’

 

Read more on the Medical Sciences Division website.

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