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Vijay Tiwari awarded prestigious grant to study how cancer cells transform to become invasive

Dr. Vijay Tiwari, a Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, is one of only eleven Young Investigators to have been awarded a prestigious grant from the EpiGeneSys Network of Excellence this year. The €150,000 award incorporates Dr. Tiwari into a European-wide network of leading epigenetics scientists and will support his research into how cells from solid tumors become invasive.
A key feature in the progression of cancer is the transformation of benign solid tumors into malignant states that form metastases. Understanding how cells in a solid tumor acquire the ability to invade and colonize different parts of the body is key to developing new strategies to treat the disease. Dr. Vijay Tiwari will take a multidisciplinary approach involving genomics, molecular, systems, and computational biology to determine how epigenetic processes contribute to this transformation.

In particular, his group will study how signaling pathways acting on the chromatin influence the activity of genes and the transcriptional reprograming that occurs in cells when they obtain the properties required to leave a solid tumor. To do this, Dr. Tiwari’s group will develop novel approaches to provide important insights into a crucial stage of cancer progression. The award will therefore further strengthen IMB’s research at the interface between epigenetics and systems biology.

A further IMB Group Leader, Dr. Holger Richly, has been elected as Associate Member of the EpiGeneSys Network. Membership of this select group of internationally renowned scientists will support Dr. Richly in his research into molecular epigenetics and their involvement in the mechanisms underlying ageing and DNA repair. As members of the EpiGeneSys Network, the groups of Dr. Vijay Tiwari and Dr. Holger Richly will have full access to the Network’s activities, including their training program for students and postdocs.
Further details
Further information about Dr. Tiwari’s research can be found at The award is a Research Integrating Systems Biology and Epigenetics (RISE1) grant that makes Dr. Tiwari a member of the European Commission-funded EpiGeneSys Network of Excellence. Further information about the EpiGeneSys network can be found at For more information about Dr. Richly’s research please go to

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB)
The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a new center of excellence in the life sciences which was established in March 2011. Research at IMB concentrates on three cutting-edge areas: epigenetics, developmental biology, and DNA repair. The institute is a prime example of a successful collaboration between public authorities and a private foundation. The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has dedicated €100 million for a period of 10 years to cover the operating costs for research at IMB, while the state of Rhineland-Palatinate provided approximately €50 million for the construction of a state-of-the-art building. For more information about IMB please visit:
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation
The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht, a member of the shareholder family of the company Boehringer Ingelheim. In addition to various awards for up-and-coming scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the foundation has endowed €100 million over a period of ten years to finance the scientific running of the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) at Mainz University. For more information about the foundation and its programs, please visit

Petra Giegerich | idw
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