IRB Barcelona puts spotlight on the ERC – 10 years promoting cutting-edge research

By March 17, 2017March 23rd, 2017IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has received 18 M € funding for 11 projects in the fields of Life Sciences and of Physics and Engineering from the European Research Council (ERC).

The ERC is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since it was set up in 2007, IRB Barcelona has received funding for 11 projects in the fields of Life Sciences and Physics and Engineering.

ICREA researcher, Eduard Batlle received one of the first grants given by this organisation, an ERC Starting Grant, which was followed by an ERC Advanced Grant in 2013 and an ERC Proof of Concept in 2014.

“We have been able to make seminal contributions to colon cancer research thanks to the continued support of the ERC over 10 years,” says Eduard Batlle. “Amongst other important findings, ERC funding has allowed us to identify colon cancer stem cells and one of the mechanisms they use to spread the disease. We are exploiting this information -also with the support of ERC- to develop a test aimed to predict cancer relapse after therapy in colon cancer patients.”

In 2011, three group leaders at IRB Barcelona received funding through Advanced Grants: Cayetano González, Modesto Orozco and Angel R. Nebreda. Modesto Orozco explains, “It allowed us to be at the forefront of computational simulation research for five years, competing with the best groups in the US and northern Europe. This has clearly been a special grant with a significant impact on our research”.

The 11 IRB Barcelona projects (4 ERC Advanced Grants, 2 Starting Grants, 3 Consolidator Grants and 2 ERC Proof of Concept) have brought more than 18 M € of funding to the institute, produced 7 patents, more than 120 papers and led to 75 employment contracts. Set up by the European Union, the ERC funds outstanding scientists throughout Europe, thus allowing them to pursue big ideas at the frontier of knowledge.

Núria López-Bigas says, “Writing an ERC grant application was exciting because it allows you to think out of the box and imagine yourself pursuing more ambitious and difficult goals.”

More information about each ERC grant given to IRB Barcelona researchers can be found here.