ERC Investigators

Since the European Research Council (ERC) launched in 2007, many innovative and ambitious projects by EMBL scientists have been awarded financial support by the ERC.

The ERC promotes frontier research by outstanding scientists and selects projects based solely on scientific excellence. During their time at EMBL, the following scientists have been awarded funding across the three ERC core grant schemes: starting, consolidator and advanced grants.

Inspired by the ERC’s tenth anniversary in 2017, we asked some of EMBL’s ERC grantees to look ahead another ten years and share their vision for their field of research.

Find out more about the ERC


Advanced Grants


Detlev Arendt

NeuralCellTypeEvo 2018 – 2023

Cellular innovation driving nervous system evolution

BrainEvoDevo 2012 – 2017

A neuron type atlas of the annelid brain: development and evolution of chemosensory-motor circuits


Peer Bork

MicrobioS 2016 – 2021

Exploring the human gut microbiome at strain resolution

Cancerbiome 2011 – 2016

Characterisation of the cancer-associated microbiome


Stephen Cusack

vRNA 2013 – 2018

Two facets of viral RNA: mechanistic studies of transcription and replication by influenza-like viral polymerases and detection by the innate immune system


Jan Ellenberg

COREMA 2017 – 2021

Cell division and the origin of embryonic aneuploidy in preimplantation mouse development


Eileen Furlong

DeCRyPT 2019 – 2024

Deciphering Cis-Regulatory Principles of Transcriptional regulation: Combining large-scale genetics and genomics to dissect functional principles of genome regulation during embryonic development

CisRegVar 2013 – 2018

Cis-regulatory variation: Using natural genetic variation to dissect cis-regulatory control of embryonic development


Edith Heard

XPRESS 2019 – 2020

Exploring mechanisms of gene repression and escape during X-chromosome inactivation


Matthias Hentze

REM Networks 2012 – 2017

Exploring the interface between cell metabolism and gene regulation: from mRNA interactomes to ‘REM Networks’


Christoph Müller

POL1PIC 2014 – 2019

Dynamic architecture of the RNA polymerase I transcription initiation machinery


Lars Steinmetz

SystGeneEdit 2017 – 2022

Dissecting quantitative traits and their underlying genetic interactions via systematic genome editing

COMPLEX_TRAITS 2012 – 2017

High-throughput dissection of the genetics underlying complex traits

Consolidator Grants


John Briggs

MembraneFusion 2015 – 2020

Structure and mechanism of viral and cellular membrane fusion machineries


Jan Korbel

MOSAIC 2019 – 2024

Relationship of Somatic Structural Variation Mosaicism to Aging and Disease Phenotypes


Robert Prevedel

Brillouin4Life 2020 – 2025

Development of advanced optical tools for studying cellular mechanics at high spatial and temporal resolution


Sarah Teichmann

ThDEFINE 2016 – 2020

Re(defining) CD4+ T cell identities one cell at a time


Nassos Typas

uCARE 2019 – 2024

Understanding & circumventing antibiotic resistance

Starting Grants


Alexander Aulehla

Oscillations 2015 – 2020

Oscillatory signaling dynamics – a quantitative approach to reveal their origin and function in development


Pedro Beltrao

PhosFunc 2015 – 2020

Dissecting the functional importance of eukaryotic protein phosphorylation


Markus Heisler

MHDVPatterning 2011 – 2015

The establishment and function of dorsiventral boundaries in plant organs


Maja Köhn

PP1tools 2014 – 2018

Development of chemical biology tools for the elucidation of protein phosphatase-1 substrates and druggability


Jan Korbel

ChromothriPSiS 2014 – 2019

Dissecting the molecular mechanism of catastrophic DNA rearrangement in cancer


Dónal O'Carroll

ncRNA 2013 – 2017

Non-coding RNA pathways and the mammalian male germline


Francesca Peri

FPMicroglia 2010 – 2014

Towards a dynamic quantitative understanding of neuronal microglial interactions


Ramesh Pillai

pisilence 2011 – 2016

Small RNA-guided complex machinery for epigenetic silencing


Christiane Schaffitzel

ComplexNMD 2012 – 2017

NMD complexes: eukaryotic mRNA quality control


Rocio Sotillo

MadCIN 2012 – 2017

Defining the impact of chromosome instability in tumour initiation, maintenance and relapse

Synergy Grants


EMBL has a long-standing tradition of scientific excellence that builds on highly interactive research Units and takes pride in the level of collaborative work engaged in by its Groups and Teams, involving both EMBL-internal and external collaborators.