20th January 2023

Research excellence in Europe

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded the ERC Starting Grants 2022″. 

Young scientists can now look forward to funding of 636 million euros from the European research program “Horizon Europe”. The funding – up to 1.5 million euros each for a period of five years – will enable them to set up their own research groups. Almost 3,000 young researchers applied.

Among the successful applicants is once again a winner of the Aventis Foundation Life Sciences Bridge Award: Dr. Stefan Pfeffer.  He is a junior research group leader at the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University and received the Life Sciences Bridge Award in 2020.

The cellular response to stress is at the heart of the ERC project “RiboStress – Stress-induced structural and organizational adaptations of the cellular translation machinery” led by Stefan Pfeffer. It focuses on the cellular processes for synthesising proteins. If they are perturbed under the influence of stress, nascent but also already folded proteins can be destabilised and deprived of their correct function or even aggregate. In his ERC project RiboStress, Dr Pfeffer intends to structurally elucidate how cells react to stress by remodelling the activity, structure and molecular organisation of ribosomes – the cellular machinery of protein synthesis. To do so he uses a cutting-edge approach to high-resolution three-dimensional imaging, termed cryo-electron tomography, which enables visualisation of ribosomes in their native cellular environment at molecular detail.

The Aventis Foundation wants to provide individual support to talented researchers, enable them to conduct their own independent research and encourage them to pursue bold and unconventional ideas.

Congratulations! We wish Dr. Stefan Pfeffer continued success!



© Tobias Schwerdt