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Birkbeck academic awarded European Research Council Grant

Dr Giulia Zanetti is one of 403 early career researchers who have been selected to receive a Starting Grant.

Dr Zanetti, a Research Fellow in Birkbeck’s Department of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a Starting Grant as part of the ‘excellent science’ pillar of the EU’s current Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Dr Zanetti’s research project shows how coat assembly can deliver the flexibility necessary to accommodate a wide variety of cargo proteins, and how the process can be regulated. Her focus is on COPII coat, which mediates export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of about a third of newly synthesized proteins. The aim of the project is to understand the molecular interactions between coat components and understand their role in determination of coat architecture and membrane shape.

Scientists across the world who were awarded the grant will benefit from €603 million, up to €1.5 million each for up to five years, to undertake their research projects. Applicants were from a wide range of subject areas and seek to answer various questions relating to the natural world, the human body and time.  The grants will enable winners to assemble their own research teams, in turn leading to job creation as it is expected that around 1500 postdocs, PhD students and other staff could be employed to support them.

Dr Zanetti said:

“I am thrilled to start this new ERC-funded project and look forward to welcoming new members to my lab and the Birkbeck EM community.”

“Having been selected for this Starting Grant call is a great honour and an amazing opportunity. Despite fears that spring from the current political situation, I hope that international competition will continue to encourage the highest standards of science in the UK.”

Professor Carolyn Moores, Head of the Department of Biological Sciences said:

“Dr Zanetti’s fantastic achievement is a reflection of her internationally recognised expertise in structure determination using cryo-electron tomography, and of the importance of the research questions she is aiming to answer.” 

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