ERC Logo

ERC Grants

As a testament to the scientific excellence of the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, researchers have been able to attract significant competitive funding by the European Union. The European Research Council supported more than ten projects at the institute.

The European Research Council (ERC) supports top researchers in the advancement of basic research and visionary projects and the development of new interdisciplinary fields of knowledge. The ERC is a public body established by the European Commission for funding of scientific and technological research conducted within the European Union.

The funding lines include the ERC Starting Grant for junior researchers awarded their doctoral degree between two and seven years ago, the ERC Consolidator Grant for researchers who have held their doctorate between seven and twelve years, and the ERC Advanced Grant for outstanding, established researchers.

Researchers of the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics have successfully competed for funding sources of the ERC including nine ERC Starting Grants, one ERC Consolidator Grant, and two ERC Advanced Grants have been assigned to MPI-IE researcher.

Funding line running total
Advanced Grants 1 2
Consolidator Grants 0 1
Starting Grants 5 9

Advanced Grants

Towards identification of the unifying principles of vertebrate adaptive immunity

Principal Investigator: Thomas Boehm

Project time: 1 June 2019 - 31 May 2024

The aim is the identification of common design principles of adaptive immunity in vertebrates providing an unprecedented view on immune functions in humans, potentially guiding the development of novel strategies for the treatment of failing immunity in patients with immunodeficiency and/or autoimmunity. more
Thymopoiesis: From Evolutionary Origins to Future Therapies

Principal Investigator: Thomas Boehm

🔴 Project time: 1 June 2013 - 31 May 2018

The project addresses major biological questions of thymopoiesis in a novel way. It is based on an evolutionarily informed approach that makes iterative use of distinct animal models (fish and mouse), and additionally considers information obtained from the analysis of human patients with thymopoietic deficiencies. Overall, the project aims at the development of evolutionarily informed genetic and cell-based strategies to reverse failing thymus function. more

Consolidator Grants

Dissecting the (epi)genetic origins of phenotypic variation and metabolic disease susceptibility

Principal Investigator: Andrew Pospisilik, now VanAndel Institute, USA
🔴 Project time: 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2021

The project is dedicated towards understanding the (epi)genetic control of phenotypic variation and disease susceptibility by cataloging epigenome and phenome variation to an unprecedented depth and resolution in the isogenic context; examining two novel models of epigenetically sensitized bi-stable obesity and mapping a series of gene-gene and gene-environment epistasis interactions. more

Starting Grants

Identifying spatial determinants of immune cell fate commitment

Principal Investigator: Dominic Grün, now Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg
Project time: 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2025

The project is setting out to investigate how cells in the bone marrow communicate in order to control the differentiation of immune cells from so-called hematopoietic stem cells. An important aim of this project is to better understand perturbations of this crosstalk causing malignancies of the blood such as leukemia. To achieve this the Dominic Grün will combine studies in the mouse model with the analysis of bone marrow samples derived human patients.
Epigenetic Reprogramming, Inheritance and Memory: Dissect epigenetic transitions at fertilisation and early embryogenesis

Principal Investigator: Nicola Iovino
Project time: 1 July 2019 - 30 June 2024
The project investigates different epigenetic  mechanisms during reproduction in Drosophila: mechanisms underlying the reprogramming of sperm chromatin at fertilization, mechanism of histone H3K27me3 inheritance through the paternal germline and the de novo establishment of constitutive heterochromatin in the newly formed zygote.
ChaperoneRegulome: Understanding cell-type-specificity of chaperone regulation

Principal Investigator: Ritwick Sawarkar, now University of Cambridge, UK
Project time: 1 January 2020 - 31 December 2024
The project will use mammalian models to identify the cellular pathways that alter the chaperone level in the brain during aging.
Mechanism and functional impact of ultra-long 3’ UTRs in the Drosophila nervous system

Principal Investigator: Valérie Hilgers
Project time: 1 January 2019 - 31 December 2024

The project investigates regulation and function of ultra-long 3’ UTRs in the Drosophila nervous system. Research is based on the hypothesis that mRNAs carrying ultra-long 3’ UTRs enable critical communication between transcription regulation and synaptic function. The project will analyse the role of ultra-long 3’ UTRs in memory, ageing and disease. more
Regulation of Single Hematopoietic Stem Cells by Intake of Vitamin A

Principal Investigator: Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid
Project time: 1 May 2018 - 30 April 2024

The projects investigates the role of Vitamin A for HSC dormancy aims to break new ground in uncovering the signalling pathways and extracellular biochemical stimuli that balance HSC maintenance and differentiation. The ultimate goal of the project is to translate the findings to targeted therapies for human diseases such as cancer. more
Innate immune cell swarms – Integrating and Adapting Single Cell and Population Dynamics in Inflamed and Infected Tissues

Principal Investigator: Tim Lämmermann
🔴 Project time: 1 February 2017 - 31 January 2022
By combining targeted mouse genetics with live cell imaging of immune cell dynamics in living tissues and the use of innovative mimics of physiological environments the projects aims to dissect the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the resolution phase of neutrophil swarming and will establish a conceptual framework of how swarming immune cells adapt their dynamics to changing inflammatory milieus.
Dissection of centromeric chromatin and components: A biosynthetic approach

Principal Investigator: Patrick Heun, now University of Edinburgh, UK
🔴 Project time: 1 February 2013 - 31 January 2019
The centromere is required for proper chromosome segregation in mitosis and meiosis. Centromere function is essential to ensure genome stability; therefore understanding centromere identity is directly relevant to cancer biology and gene therapy. The project aims to understand how centromeres are established and maintained by an experimental setup across evolutionary boundaries into human cells to develop improved human artificial chromosomes (HACs).
Polycomb/Trithorax: Functional EpiGenomics Integrators for Metabolic Disease

Prinicpal Investigator: Andrew Pospisilik, now VanAndel Institute, USA
🔴 Project time: 1 December 2011 - 30 November 2016

Using this unique functional-genetics-to-epigenomics approach the project will provide an functionally validated genomics resource for obesity research worldwide aimed towards novel therapeutic strategies for metabolic disease. more
Dynamics and stability of covalent protein modifications

Prinicipal Investigator: Robert Schneider, now Helmholtz Center Munich
🔴 Project time: 1 September 2008 - 31 August 2014

The goals of this project were: A) Determining the role of linker H1 modifications and variants in epigenetic regulation of gene expression. This will enable us to expand the ""histone"" code to the next higher level of chromatin organisation. B) To identify yet uncharacterised sites or new types of histone modifications. This will be the basis for determining the biological function of these modifications. Altogether this will lead us to decipher the role of covalent protein modifications in regulation of gene expression and how they are linked into biological networks. more


EpiGeneSys was active as an FP7 European Community-funded Network of Excellence from 2010 to 2016, with the aim of building a bridge between two areas of European excellence, epigenetics and systems biology. The network has established a framework to catalyse interdisciplinary exchanges and training, as well as to foster the sharing of tools, resources and knowledge. EpiGeneSys has advanced research by drawing together epigeneticists and systems biologists to elucidate epigenetic mechanisms in development and disease. Learn more about the result of the network’s research program.

Investigators: Asifas Akhtar (also Deputy Coordinator), Thomas Jenuwein, Andrew Pospisilik

🔴 = Project completed

Go to Editor View