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Hiroki Shibuya receives prestigious ERC Starting Grant

The European Research Council has awarded Hiroki Shibuya an ERC Starting Grant of EUR 1.5 million for a period of five years for his research on molecular mechanisms underlying the proper transmission of genetic information to progenies, focusing on the function of telomeres (chromosome ends) in germ cells.

Germ cell chromosomesGerm cell chromosomes

ERC Starting Grants are aimed at young and prominent researchers with groundbreaking ideas. With his research, Hiroki Shibuya wants to reveal the molecular processes that are responsible for the lengthening of telomeric DNA during meiotic cell division. His results will hopefully increase our understanding of numerous human congenital diseases, such as infertility and Down syndrome, caused by errors in germ cell production processes.

Hiroki Shibuya– I am very happy with this 5-year grant. Now, I can settle down and focus on my research. This ERC Starting Grant allows me to commit to a challenging project, which is of course very exciting. At the same time, I feel a big responsibility to meet the ERC reviewers’ expectations and to achieve my scientific goals, says Hiroki Shibuya.

Hiroki started his own research group last year and has currently one PhD student. He will use his ERC grant to hire more talented PhD students and postdocs as well as to buy new equipment.

ERC promotes ‘bottom-up’ projects in all scientific areas and supports cutting edge research and groundbreaking ideas that lead to major impacts in the field of research. ERC Starting Grant is aimed at young researchers (2-7 years since completion of PhD) who are ready to start an independent research group. Grant size: up to EUR 1.5 million for a period of maximum five years.

For more information:
Hiroki Shibuya
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology

Picture 1: Germ cell chromosomes
Picture 2: Hiroki Shibuya