European Research Council (ERC) has so far given in Horizon 2020 fifteen grants to Polish researchers, including only one in the area of life sciences. This is why winning one by Prof. Magdalena Król from the WULS-SGGW is an especially significant achievement. As the project has received exceptionally high score, the ERC chose it as the one to be promoted on the ERC web site. The team led by Magdalena Król will receive over 1.4 mln Euro for research. The project will be carried out for five years.
Scientific projects led by Magdalena Król feature an innovative approach to cancer research. The aim of the ERC project is to explain the phenomenon discovered by Magdalena Król in which cells of the immune system transfer a certain type of protein to the cancer cells. Professor Król wants to use this mechanism to "smuggle" anti-cancer elements within the protein, which would be precisely delivered to the tumors by the immune cells. This method might be useful especially in treating small metastases, which is an important clinical problem.
The main objective of the Programme of grants funded by the European Research Council (ERC) is to increase the dynamics, creativity and excellence of European research at the frontier of knowledge by supporting pioneering research projects initiated by the researchers themselves as well as by individual teams competing at the European level. Only the leading researchers from the best centers in Europe take part in the competition. According to statistics, as much as 20% of grants awarded by the ERC led to a real breakthrough in science, and 50% of them made an enormous contribution to the progress of science. Researchers who apply for an "ERC Starting Grant” need to demonstrate their potential of being researchwise independent and prove maturity of their previous scientific achievements. They also must have published in leading, international, multi-disciplinary scientific journals. The grants support the creation of new excellent research teams.