ERC grants are one of Europe’s most respected research funding schemes. Starting Grants are awarded to researchers who are in the early stages of their careers, Consolidator Grants are awarded to those in the middle stages of their careers and Advanced Grants are awarded to well-established researchers. In addition to a high scientific standard, applicants need to display perspectives that reshape our scientific understanding.
ERC Advanced Grant
Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, ERC Advanced Grant, HeartGenes (2021–2026)
The grant was awarded for research addressing severe coronary artery disease and heart failure. The HeartGenes project seeks to develop novel vascular growth factor molecules. These molecules enable what is known as biological bypass, which seeks to improve circulation in an ischemic heart and to enhance its metabolism and energy supply. The project uses advanced catheter methods by which gene delivery to the heart muscle is performed locally both from the inner lining of heart ventricles and through retrograde delivery, i.e., by cleverly using of the heart’s own venous system as a delivery route.
ERC Consolidator Grant
Professor Tarja Malm, ERC Consolidator Grant, HUMANE (2022-2027)
Neuroinflammatory reactions geared by malfunctional microglia play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The HUMANE project combines state-of-the-art techniques to answer how and which glial cell subpopulations are associated with altered neuronal network activities at subcellular and spatial resolution in the human brain in early AD. These events also contribute to a detectable vesicle-based biomarker profile in cerebrospinal fluid and blood prior to the clinical disease. The researchers will utilise brain biopsies obtained from normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) patients. As some of these patients manifest early AD pathology, their brains offer a unique window to evaluate cellular and molecular events occurring during early AD. The project will provide a holistic view on early AD pathology and pinpoint novel molecular targets for further validation and new fluid biomarkers.
Professor Tanja Tarvainen, ERC Consolidator Grant, QUANTOM (2021–2026)
The QUANTOM project delelops novel quantitative imaging modalities based on coupled physics. Coupled physics imaging combines the benefits of two physical phenomena, such as light and ultrasound through the photoacoustic effect. The research aims at the development of quantitative tomographic techniques utilising methods of Bayesian inverse problems. The aim is to provide new imaging modalities for biomedical imaging and research.
ERC Starting Grant
Professor Minna Kaikkonen-Määttä, ERC Starting Grant, EnDeCAD (2019–2023)
The EnDeCAD study sheds light on the role of noncoding enhancer regions and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lying in these regions in the development of coronary artery disease (CAD). The aim is to bring the functional characterization of SNPs associated with CAD risk to date by focusing the search for causal SNPs to enhancers of disease relevant cell types, namely endothelial cells, macrophages and smooth muscle cells of the vessel wall, hepatocytes and adipocytes. Linking the findings with deep phenotypic genomics data from patients has the potential to improve risk characterization, biomarker identification and treatment selection in clinical practice.
Associate Professor Alina Solomon, ERC Starting Grant, Brain Health Toolbox (2019–2024)
The aim of the project is to develop multimodal personalized tools for dementia risk prediction and prevention. The Brain Health Toolbox is designed to create a seamless continuum from accurate dementia prediction to effective prevention by developing the missing disease models and prediction tools for multimodal prevention and testing them in actual multimodal prevention trials. In addition, the aim is to bridge the gap between non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches by designing a combined multimodal prevention trial based on a new European adaptive trial platform.
Professor Kati Kulovesi, ERC Starting Grant, CLIMASLOW (2017–2022)
The ClimaSlow project will open new interdisciplinary horizons by combining climate law and climate science. It seeks to identify opportunities to enhance the global legal and regulatory framework for reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), with particular attention to developing countries as projected key sources of future SLCP emissions. The project’s case study countries are China, India, Chile and Mexico.