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 Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction
17.01.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI

nachricht Inspired by nature - scalable chemical factory due to photomicroreactors
11.01.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.

All articles from Awards Funding >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers reveal how microbes cope in phosphorus-deficient tropical soil

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Opening the cavity floodgates

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Siberian scientists suggested a new method for synthesizing a promising magnetic material

23.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>