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HFSP Program Grant for BMLS

April 2014. The International Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Organization announced this year's winners of the competition for one of the prestigious HFSP research grants. Amongst the awardees is the Dikic group at the BMLS, who together with the Sidhu group (Canada), the Komatsu group (Japan) and the Sander group (USA) will receive $1.35 million for the next 3 years. "This award considerably pushes autophagy research in Frankfurt, especially because it funds one of our most innovative projects. Within the next 3 years, we expect to gain a lot of knowledge about molecular targeting of the autophagy network", says Ivan Dikic, IBCII director and founding director of the BMLS.

The partners will work together on "Sensors and modulators of autophagy networks in vivo". The project aims at developing a toolkit of protein-based modulators to target the autophagy network at the molecular level. In a second step, the toolkit will be applied to a range of in vivo models, to monitor and control autophagy under physiological as well as pathophysiological conditions.

Local collaborations, incl. with Volker Dötsch, Christian Pohl and Andreas Ernst, have supported the development of the project, and all these interactions are an integral part of the Frankfurt Autophagy Network (FAN), which is spearheaded by Dikic and was initiated in 2011 after several groups within the Rhine-Main area had been moving into the field and were joining forces to apply for collaborative research grants. "The award strengthens our international collaborations and establishes a firm link of the Frankfurt network to international leaders in the field", emphasizes Dikic.

HFSP is an international research support programme promoting intercontinental collaborations and training in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research within the field of life sciences. Program grants are awarded annually to fund innovative, risky projects submitted by international collaboration teams. This year, a total of $35 million research funding is awarded to 34 winning teams which were selected in a rigorous procedure out of 844 applications. The HFSP grant program is unique in being the only one encouraging applications from teams involving scientists worldwide. More ...

Ivan Dikic
Institute of Biochemistry II
Frankfurt (Main), Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)69 6301-5964