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Junior group leader Sebastian Maurer, has been awarded a Young Investigator Grant from the HFSP

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19
Apr
Tue, 19/04/2016 - 12:59

Junior group leader Sebastian Maurer, has been awarded a Young Investigator Grant from the HFSP

Sebastian Maurer, junior group leader of the Cytoskeleton Dependent RNA Distribution Mechanisms laboratory, has been awarded the prestigious Young Investigator Grant from the Human Frontier Science Program. He is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying cytoplasmic RNA transport along cytoskeletal elements. His expertise and innovative approach within this field will be vital to carry out the HSFP awarded project.

The Human Frontier Science Program supports frontier research in the life sciences. Through the Young Investigators' Grants they award teams of researchers, all of whom are within the first five years after obtaining an independent laboratory, addressing scientific projects with innovative and creative potential in life sciences. HFSP fellowships are granted every year to the best international and multidisciplinary collaborative projects in basic research, encouraging groups of scientists with different expertise to work together on a common goal that, otherwise, could not be faced by a single laboratory.

The awarded project “Reconstitution of cell polarity and axis determination in a cell-free system” aims to investigate the spatial arrangement of molecules inside cells that impact the animal body plan during its development. Sebastian Maurer will take part on this project, which is coordinated by Ivo Telley at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC) in Portugal. They also will work closely with the groups of Martin Loose at the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria, and Timothy Saunders at the Mechanobiology Institute in Singapore. Together they aim to "rebuild" biochemically the self-organization of molecules in an artificial cell, and to visualize the processes using the latest high-resolution microscopy technology.

The organization's statement reads that the "International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSP) will allocate about $34 million to the 32 winning teams of the 2016 competition for the HFSP Research Grants. Applicants went through a rigorous year-long selection process in a global competition that started with 871 submitted letters of intent involving scientists in 64 different countries around the world. This year, 7 Young Investigator Grants (involving 22 scientists) and 25 Program Grants (involving 78 scientists) were awarded."