University of Tartu (Estonia) wins prestigious research grant to start new laboratory
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) have awarded startup research grants to Dr. Mart Loog and five other prominent Central European scientists to start their independent laboratories. The grants, each totalling 225,000 USD (3m EEK) mark their recipients as researchers of the highest excellence.
According to Dr. Loog, the central research theme of his lab will be protein kinase signalling networks in the eukaryotic cell cycle. The research keywords of the new lab are kinomics, proteomics and system biology. In other words the lab, to be launched at the UT Institute of Technology, will focus on the mechanisms governing cell division. Its research results will be applied to elaborate strategies to inhibit cancer cell division.
In addition to Dr. Loog, the HHMI/EMBO Startup Grants were awarded to three Hungarian and two Czech scientists. “This new programme aims to help promising new scientists get established with resources, space and time in the early years of their independent careers,” said Peter J. Bruns, HHMI Vice President for Grants and Special Programmes.
EMBO considers the grants part of its Young Investigator Programme, which has been identifying and supporting young scientists in Europe since 2000. Grant holders acquire EMBO Young Investigator status which entitles them to various privileges offered by the organisation. The competition for the Startup Grants was extremely selective and applications were subject to highly rigorous scientific criteria.
In addition to financial assistance for founding an independent research lab, the grants are significant for their pledge of continued support — the institutions hosting the new labs must commit themselves to ensure financing for grant holders’ research also after their grants run out.
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