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Published: 2018-08-30

Major European grant to newly recruited Umeå researcher

NEWS The European Research Council grants an ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million euro to the group leader Changchun Chen at the Umeå Centre for Molecular Medicine (UCMM) and Wallenberg Centre for Molecular Medicine (WCMM), Umeå University.

The purpose of the ERC Starting Grant is to encourage excellent young research leaders in Europe to become independent and build their own research team. At an approval rate of 13%, 403 research projects in the EU will be awarded a total of 603 million euros this year.

Changchun Chen was recruited in Spring 2018 from Cambridge, Great Britain to Umeå University as a Wallenberg Molecular Medicine Fellow. He is employed as an Associate senior lecturer at UCMM, the Faculty of Medicine, where he is currently setting up his lab and establishing his line of research.

Changchun Chen studies the perception of oxygen variations and adaption of hypoxia, low oxygen availability, in the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans. This animal displays an extreme tolerance to oxygen (O2) deprivation. It can survive several days without any O2 supply and responds quickly to rapid variations in oxygen.

The goal is to gain new insight into the mechanism mediating tolerance to low oxygen levels. These findings can ultimately make advances in therapy of neurological disorders such as cerebral hemorrhage and ischemia.

The ERC grant is a 5-year grant within EU´s current Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.