Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clone Wars – FLI researcher is honored with prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Award

27.07.2016

Why do cells and tissues age and what are the genetic and molecular causes for aging? These are the central research questions that Italian junior scientist Dr. Francesco Neri, PhD, is trying to answer. Currently starting his own research group at Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena, Germany, Neri will be awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in November 2016 – one of the most highly endowed research awards in Germany.

In recent times, our understanding of aging has deeply changed. Stem cells, that are the basis for organ regeneration throughout life, start to mutate in genetic regions that regulate the epigenome, i.e. the surface and structure of our genetic information.


Francesco Neri, Junior Group Leader of the research group on “Epigenetics of Aging“ at Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI) in Jena.

Photo: Evelyn Kästner / FLI

These mutants become clonal, increasing the risk of disease and death. Roughly half of mankind aged 70 is affected by these alterations. Italian researcher Francesco Neri investigates the fundamentals of these processes and is now awarded the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, one of the most highly endowed research awards in Germany.

He is one out of six international young scientists from the USA, Poland/Canada, Italy, Kenia, USA/Denmark and Iran/Australia who get the opportunity to build up their own research focus and research group at a German research institute – funded by up to 1.65 million Euro each. The awards will be given to the prizewinners on November 15, 2016, in Berlin.

Big Chance for a Young Scientist

“The Sofja Kovalevskaja Award provides young researchers with a great opportunity to follow their creative research approaches on a nearly independent basis“, Prof. Dr. Karl Lenhard Rudolph, Scientific Director of Leibniz Institute on Aging (FLI), emphasizes the importance of the research award. The funding of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation enables Francesco Neri to build up a new junior research group on “Epigenetics of Aging“ at the Institute in Jena.

The new group is focusing on the functional characterization of epigenetic alterations associated to stem cell aging. Research aims at describing these epigenetic changes and how they are selectively accumulated over the years, e.g. altered methylation patterns of the DNA. Furthermore, the research focuses on the understanding of why and how aging-associated epigenetic alterations impact stem cell function and lead to a clonal dominance and cancer development.

“I’m really happy about this prestigious award”, Dr. Neri proudly explains. “As an internationally renowned research institute in the area of aging research, the FLI offers me an optimal research environment which enables me to fully concentrate on my own research focus.”

The Laureate – Francesco Neri

Dr. Francesco Neri was born in Italy in 1981. He studied molecular biology and gained his PhD in biotechnology at the University of Siena. After a period of research at Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, Netherlands, he returned to Italy, doing postdoctoral research at the Human Genetics Foundation in Torino, where he became a research assistant in 2015. Since July 2016, Dr. Neri has been heading a junior research group at FLI.

Sofja Kovalevskaja Award for Young Promising Scientists

The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s Sofja Kovalevskaja Award is named after the Russian mathematician Sofja Kovalevskaja and is one of the most highly endowed research awards in Germany. Funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, it is granted to young exceptionally promising researchers from abroad in recognition of outstanding academic achievements. The award is designed to enable them to embark on academic careers in Germany by establishing their own junior research groups at research institutions in Germany. The Kovalevskaja Award is endowed with up to 1.65 million Euros.

More information on the award and the awarding ceremony can be found on http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/start.html.

Contact

Dr. Evelyn Kästner
Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI), Beutenbergstr. 11, 07745 Jena, Germany
Tel.: 03641-656373, Fax: 03641-656351
E-Mail: presse@leibniz-fli.de

Background Information

The Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) is the first German research organization dedicated to biomedical aging research since 2004. More than 330 members from over 30 nations explore the molecular mechanisms underlying aging processes and age-associated diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.leibniz-fli.de.

The Leibniz Association connects 88 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz Institutes collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “WissenschaftsCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the institutes’ importance for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 18,100 individuals, including 9,200 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.64 billion EUR. See http://www.leibniz-association.eu for more information.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.leibniz-fli.de - Website Leibniz Institute on Aging - Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) Jena

Dr. Kerstin Wagner | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Awards Funding:

nachricht Eduard Arzt receives highest award from German Materials Society
21.09.2017 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

nachricht Six German-Russian Research Groups Receive Three Years of Funding
12.09.2017 | Hermann von Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

The material that obscures supermassive black holes

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Ageless ears? Elderly barn owls do not become hard of hearing

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>