The recent call for project applications in the field of chemical biology has turned into a smashing success for Vienna BioCenter (VBC): no less than six research groups secured funding for four projects. In the whole call, only eight projects were successful. Half of them from VBC.

The Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds (WWTF, Vienna Science, Research and Technology Fund) is among the most important funding tools for basic research in Austria. Its recent call for the submission of chemical biology projects has attracted a high number of applications, and an exceptional success rate for VBC: an impressive six research groups have gained WWTF support for four individual projects.

Out of 77 projects initially submitted in the frame of this call, only 25 of them were invited to submit a full proposal. In the end, eight projects were successful – half of them from VBC. Each of the projects will now be financed for a period of up to four years.

The selected projects were submitted by the following scientists: Elly Tanaka and Tim Clausen of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP); Daniel Gerlich and Stefan Ameres of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA); as well as Yasin Dagdas and Youssef Belkhadir of the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI).

Two projects bridge more than one VBC institute: the one by Yasin Dagdas, Youssef Belkhadir, and Tim Clausen links the expertise of three groups to study autophagy, plant signalling pathways, and chemical biology. The second “inter-VBC-institute” project is by Tim Clausen and Markus Hartl from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) as a co-applicant. These projects demonstrate the fertile ground that VBC provides for cooperation beyond the boundaries of an individual research institute.

Fostering exchange and synergies in research, education and business is the main objective of Vienna BioCenter. The WWTF’s decision to support this project is a testimonial for the thriving of such synergies in one of Europe’s most dynamic life science hubs.

The selected VBC projects

LS17-047: Dagdas/Belkhadir/Clausen: Manipulation of plant innate immune responses by small molecules probes.

LS17-029: Clausen/Hartl: bac-PROTAC: Developing proteolysis-targeting small molecules for the selective elimination of bacterial proteins.

LS17-037: Tanaka: Photochemical control of biohybrid matrices to reconstitute nervous system organization from three-dimensional neural organoids.

LS17-003: Gerlich/Ameres: Elucidating sister chromatid structure by chemical DNA labeling and conformation capture.

More information here.