Nine UCL researchers secure £560m in research funding from ERC

2 min read

Approximately 14% of the competition-submitted proposals were selected to receive funding

Nine researchers from University College London (UCL) have secured nearly £560m in funding from the European Research Council’s (ERC) Advanced Grants to advance researchers in fields including biochemistry, nanotechnologies and regenerative medicine.

Approximately 14% of the competition-submitted proposals were selected for funding, comprising 255 researchers, and could create over 2,000 new jobs.

Set up in 2007 by the EU, the ERC has been funding research via the Advanced Grant to universities and research centres across 19 EU member states and associated countries, including the UK, Germany and France.

The funding will be used for projects including the study of the roles of priority proteins in cellular quiescence and ageing, the thymus gland’s functions within the immune system and lung cancer.

UCL professor Charles Swanton from the UCL Cancer Institute, along with UCL professor Paola Bonfanti and senior group leader at the Francis Crick Institute, have been awarded over £2m each for their projects.

Bonfanti’s LOST IN ThyME project will explore what happens to the thymus, a small, irregular-shaped organ in the upper chest, to understand its role in the immune and endocrine systems throughout adult life.

Working with the University of Turin in Italy, the project could help to “better understand how the immune system stays active through adult life and how to tap into the thymus’ potential to protect against diseases like cancer, complement immune medications and, also, understand how our bodies respond to stress,” explained Bonfanti.

Swanton’s START project aims to investigate lung cancer in people who have never smoked and look for opportunities to prevent cancer by targeting inflammatory pathways such as air pollution.

“The more we understand about how cancer starts, the more chance we have of identifying opportunities to intervene with preventative therapies,” said Swanton.
Iliana Ivanova, EU commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, commented: “These grants will… support leading researchers in pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

“I look forward to seeing the resulting breakthroughs and fresh advancements in the years ahead.”

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours