“I have worked very closely with Maria in her current role as Director of our sister organization EMBO. I can think of no-one better placed to lead the ERC,” Professor Heard said.
“Maria’s appointment continues the strong connection between EMBL and the ERC. As Europe’s leading inter-governmental organisation for life sciences research, EMBL has always been hugely supportive of the ERC. Indeed, former EMBL Director General Fotis Kafatos was the founding ERC President, from 2007 until 2010, and EMBL-EBI Director Emeritus Janet Thornton was ERC Vice-President in 2019 and 2020.”
Professor Heard said the ERC was a remarkable European success story, responsible for supporting countless scientific discoveries that have had huge positive benefits for society.
She said: “The ERC funding model provides scientists both the necessary financial support and also the freedom to explore critical questions, enabling scientific knowledge and applications, through discovery-driven research. It recently celebrated its 10,000th grant – a truly impressive track record.”
More than 20 EMBL researchers currently hold ERC Advanced, Consolidator, Starting or Synergy Grants. The full list is available on the EMBL website.