A Czech to investigate how errors in genetic information arise thanks to prestigious grant

16. 01. 2024

Up to two-thirds of all cancers are caused by errors that occur during DNA replication. This is the focus of the laboratory of Hana Polášek-Sedláčková from the Institute of Biophysics of the CAS, who has been awarded a prestigious EMBO Installation Grant (€50,000) to research new molecular pathways.

During each cell division, a copy of genetic information is created – and if the process does not occur properly, it can result in errors (mutations) in the genetic information, which can then cause serious diseases such as cancer. “DNA replication is a vital process that allows genetic information to be copied during each cell division. The grant will enable us to study new molecular pathways that are essential for error-free DNA replication,” explains Hana Polášek-Sedláčková from the Institute of Biophysics of the CAS, who just received an EMBO Installation Grant.

“In addition to understanding the basic mechanisms of how to protect the human genome, our work may identify new targets for anticancer drugs, thus expanding therapeutic strategies for cancer treatment,” the scientist stresses the potential of the research.

Ten scientists receive EMBO Installation Grants

The group leaders will establish laboratories in the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Türkiye. EMBO is pleased to announce that ten life scientists have been awarded EMBO Installation Grants, which support group leaders who will move to, or have recently moved to, countries participating in the scheme. The scientists’ inspiring research spans a wide range of biological processes: ageing, tumour biology, gut-brain axis communication, microbiota and gene editing tools are among the topics they are exploring.

One installation grantee will establish a laboratory in the Czech Republic, one in Greece, two in Hungary, one in Lithuania, three in Poland, one in Portugal and one in Türkiye. All grantees have demonstrated a commitment to international research and collaboration. In the four years prior to their application, they have spent at least two consecutive years outside the country in which they are now establishing their laboratory. Six of the ten grantees are female and four are male.

EMBO Director Fiona Watt says: “We are delighted that these exceptional scientists are supported by EMBO. We promote excellence in the life sciences in all parts of Europe and beyond, and look forward to the contributions of the new installation grantees. Their research will undoubtedly both strengthen the life sciences in their respective countries and enrich our wider scientific community.”

EMBO Installation Grantees receive a comprehensive support package for their research and professional development. The annual grant of 50,000 euros for three to five years is provided by the country's ministry or funding agency (35,000 euros) and EMBC, the intergovernmental organization of 31 member states that funds the major EMBO Programmes and activities (15,000 euros). The recipients also have access to additional grants of up to 10,000 euros per year as well as travel grants. Integrated into the EMBO Young Investigator Network, they benefit from extensive networking opportunities, training in research leadership and management skills, and access to core facilities at EMBL Heidelberg.

Funding for this year’s installation grants was provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, the General Secretariat for Research and Innovation of Greece, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Research Council of Lithuania, the Ministry of Education and Science of Poland, the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia of Portugal, and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye. Greece and Hungary joined the EMBO Installation Grant scheme in 2023.

The next application deadline is 15 April 2024. Full details of the scheme, including eligibility criteria and the application process, are available here.


Research project

Host institute

Maciej Cieśla

Coordination of alternative splicing in ageing of hematopoietic stem cells

IMol Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, PL

H. Atakan Ekiz

Investigating long noncoding RNAs in melanomagenesis and immunoevasion

Institute of Technology, Izmir, TR

Ilana Gabanyi

Sex and age specificities influencing the gut-brain axis communication

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, PT

Stephen Jones

Developing robust and predictable gene editing tools

Vilnius University, LT

Aleksandra Kolodziejczyk

Role of microbiota in progression of liver disease

International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, PL

Christina Kyrousi

Decoding the role of cilia in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders

University Mental Health Research Institute, Athens, GR

Viktória Lázár

Exploring new strategies against genotoxin-producing gut pathogens

Biological Research Centre, Szeged, HU

Ewelina Malecka-Grajek

From dynamics of bacterial RNA degradation to gene expression manipulation tools

International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, PL

Hana Polasek-Sedlackova

Checking on replication origins

Institute of Biophysics, Brno, CZ

Gergely Róna

Function of D-type cyclins in neuronal DNA repair and neurodegeneration

Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Budapest, HU

About EMBO

EMBO is an organization of more than 2,000 leading researchers that promotes excellence in the life sciences in Europe and beyond. The major goals of the organization are to support talented researchers at all stages of their careers, stimulate the exchange of scientific information, and help build a research environment where scientists can achieve their best work.

EMBO helps young scientists to advance their research, promote their international reputations and ensure their mobility. Courses, workshops, lectures and EMBO Press publications disseminate the latest research and offer training in techniques to maintain high standards of excellence in research practice. EMBO helps to shape science policy by seeking input and feedback from our communities and by following closely the trends in science. For more information:

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