Set up in 2007 by the EU, the European Research Council is the first European funding organisation for frontier research. The ERC operates according to an 'investigator-driven', or 'bottom-up', approach, allowing researchers to identify new opportunities in any field of research, without thematic priorities. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age to run five-year projects based in Europe. ERC grants are designed to support researchers at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme, to strengthen independent and excellent new individual research teams that have been recently created. They are awarded based on the scientific excellence of the researcher and research proposal.
Pavel Tolar has been awarded funding for his project "Regulation of antibody responses by B cell mechanical activity".
Pavel Tolar obtained an MD degree at Charles University, Prague and a PhD in immunology at the Institute of Molecular Genetics, Prague, where he studied molecular aspects of activation of mast cells. In 2003 he joined NIH as a postdoctoral fellow to work with Susan Pierce on the development and use of imaging technology for the study of B cell activation and signaling. He moved to NIMR in 2009 to pursue his interest in the structural, molecular and cellular mechanisms of immune receptor activation. In 2013 Pavel was chosen to be an EMBO Young Investigator.
James Turner has been awarded funding for his project "Functions of the X chromosome in the mammalian germ line".
James Turner studied Medicine at UCL, during which he also carried out a PhD in sex chromosome genetics at NIMR with Paul Burgoyne. He subsequently worked as a junior physician at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust, before returning to NIMR London to continue his work on sex chromosome genetics as a postdoc. He spent some time in the USA, including at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, before starting his own research group at NIMR and becoming an honorary research associate at UCL in 2007. His research focuses on the evolution, cell biology and biochemistry of the sex chromosomes from a variety of organisms, including mammals, in order to understand how these chromosomes influence human health and disease. James was the 2014 Wain Medal recipient.
Mark Wilson has been awarded funding for his project "Testing the role of miRNA-mediated non-cell autonomous gene regulation in type-2 immunity".
Mark Wilson studied biology and parasitology at King?s College London and gained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, working with Rick Maizels on helminth infection and immune regulation. He then joined NIH as a postdoctoral fellow, working in Thomas Wynn?s lab at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on immune-mediated pathologies following infection and allergic reactions. He joined NIMR in November 2010.