ERC Consolidator Grant for IPB researcher Debora Gasperini
Dr Debora Gasperini, a group leader at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry in the Molecular Signal Processing Department, has been awarded the European Research Council (ERC) consolidator grant, worth nearly €2 million, over a period of five years. Dr Gasperini is one of 321 elite researchers across all scientific disciplines to benefit from funding of €657 million from this ERC grant, which is part of the EU's Horizon Europe program.
The awarded grant is named MECHANOJAS, and aims to investigate biophysical signals governing the production of a decisive plant hormone, named jasmonate (JA). JA is synthesized from poly unsaturated fatty acids residing in plant-specific plastidial membranes, and is essential to protect plants against numerous biotic and abiotic challenges including insect herbivory and temperature extremes. Despite the vital roles of JA in sustaining plant fitness and although its biosynthesis and perception are well characterized, it is still unknown how are damage signals transmitted to plastids to initiate phytohormone production and what is the nature of the transmitted signal(s). MECHANOJAS intends to fill this critical gap in knowledge by using high-risk, high-gain interdisciplinary approaches, and provide the basis for future opportunities in improving plant health under changing environments.
Consolidator grants are designed to assist excellent scientists who have 7 to 12 years’ experience after their PhDs, to pursue their most promising ideas. Grant winners will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 18 EU Member States, plus other countries associated with Horizon Europe. The grants will create around 1950 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other staff at the host institutions.
Dr. Debora Gasperini
Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry