Group leader Sebastian Falk has been named a ‘Young Investigator’ for the next four years by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). The program offers funding, extensive networking, and career development activities for junior faculty who have demonstrated excellence in their respective fields.
Congratulations to Kelly Swarts, group leader at the Gregor Mendel Institute and the Max Perutz Labs Vienna, who has been awarded a Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for her project “Tree Ring Genomics”. This grant will fund the Swarts lab’s work on the adaptive responses of forest trees to climate change. The ERC is the most prestigious, and highly competitive, funding body for basic research within the European Union.
Murals create opportunities for bold, highly visible statements. Over the last few decades street art has come a long way from an act of rebellion to a respected form of art. A large mural picturing the Austrian-British Nobel Prize winner Max Perutz and his science has just been completed on the facade of the Max Perutz Labs by the artist duo Käthe Schönle and Sebastian Schager, in collaboration with the art & science project ‘WIENERWISSEN’.
Congratulations to group leaders Roland Foisner, Martin Leeb, and Thomas Leonard who have received funding from the Austrian Science Fund FWF amounting to a total of €1,640,000. The funded projects will deal with gene regulation, cell fate decisions, and signal transduction.
Group leader Jörg Menche is part of Repo4EU, a platform for mechanism-based drug repurposing. The consortium, which includes 28 partners from 10 countries, has recently been awarded a 23 million Euro grant by the European Union under the Horizon Europe program. Jörg’s lab will receive €660,000 and will contribute their expertise in molecular network biology.
The lab of Thomas Juffmann, together with researchers from the University of Siegen, has developed a new technique that combines electron microscopy and laser technology to enable programmable, arbitrary shaping of electron beams. It can potentially be used for optimizing electron optics and for adaptive electron microscopy, with applications in structural biology and materials science. The technology maximizes sensitivity while minimizing beam-induced damage. The results are published in Physics Review X.
How animals are able to interpret natural light sources to adjust their physiology and behavior is poorly understood. The labs of Kristin Tessmar-Raible (Max Perutz Labs Vienna, Alfred Wegener Institut, University of Oldenburg) and Eva Wolf (Johannes Gutenberg University and Institute of Molecular Biology Mainz) have now revealed that a molecule called L-cryptochrome (L-Cry) has the biochemical properties to discriminate between different moon phases, as well as between sun- and moonlight. Their findings, published in Nature Communications, show that L-Cry can interpret moonlight to entrain the monthly (circalunar) clock of a marine worm to control sexual maturation and reproduction.
Congratulations to Stephanie Ellis who has received the 2022 Vallee Scholar Award from the Vallee Foundation. The career development grant aims to support outstanding junior faculty carrying out basic biomedical research and will help to fund Stephanie’s work on cell competition over the next four years.
From September 15 - 17, 2022 group leader Jörg Menche and his team hosted “The Shape of Things to Come”, a 3-day mixed-reality exhibition. At various locations across the Vienna BioCenter, scientists and artists presented their ideas of how they picture our future environment in augmented and virtual reality.