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Prof. Dr. Stephan Grill receives 2.5 Million EUR ERC Advanced Grant


How growing organisms distinguish between left and right

Stephan Grill, Professor for Biophysics at the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) of TU Dresden, will be awarded an ERC Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.5 million for his research on “Chiral Morphogenesis”. The workgroup headed by Stephan Grill will investigate the physical mechanisms that enable a growing organism to distinguish between left and right, in order to place certain organs towards the left side and others towards the right side in a growing organism. To this end, the scientists conduct research on the muscle proteins actin and myosin and the physical mechanisms with which these proteins generate forces and torques in order to shape growing organs. “Revealing the mechanisms that give rise to left-right symmetry breaking in embryonic development is one of the great unanswered questions. The aim of this grant is to understand how cellular, tissue-scale and organismal left-right asymmetry arises from molecular interactions. For this purpose, we will combine physics and biology, and treat living systems as physical systems where chiral, and therefore left-right symmetric, forces drive chiral patterning and chiral structure formation in mechanically active biological matter”, Prof. Grill explains. Stephan Grill’s research group at BIOTEC is keen to understand the forces that allow an embryo to grow into a fully structured and formed organism. For this purpose, the group combines several disciplines, among them cell and developmental biology with biophysics and theoretical physics. In 2011, Stephan Grill received an ERC Starting Grant.

Further information: Group page Stephan Grill

The European Research Council funds three TU Dresden scientists with ERC Advanced Grants, the most highly-endowed individual grants on a European level. These are awarded for renowned scientists who break new ground in their respective area of research by conducting high-risk research. Biophysicist Prof. Stephan Gill, physician Prof. Frank Buchholz and chemist Prof. Stefan Kaskel are granted approximately EUR 7.3 million for their research. In the past, TUD has already been awarded four ERC Advanced Grants.

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