Six research groups at Vienna BioCenter backed by WWTF funding

Vienna, 18 December 2017 – The recent call for project applications in the field of chemical biology

has turned into a smashing success for Vienna BioCenter (VBC): no less than six research groups secured

funding for four projects. In the whole call, only eight projects were successful. Half of them from VBC.

The Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds (WWTF, Vienna Science, Research
and Technology Fund) is among the most important funding tools for basic research in Austria. Its
recent call for the submission of chemical biology projects has attracted a high number of
applications, and an exceptional success rate for VBC: an impressive six research groups have gained
WWTF support for four individual projects.
Out of 77 projects initially submitted in the frame of this call, only 25 of them were invited to submit
a full proposal. In the end, eight projects were successful – half of them from VBC. Each of the
projects will now be financed for a period of up to four years.
The selected projects were submitted by the following scientists: Elly Tanaka and Tim Clausen of the
Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP); Daniel Gerlich and Stefan Ameres of the Institute of
Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA); as well as Yasin Dagdas and Youssef Belkhadir of the Gregor
Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology (GMI).
Two projects bridge more than one VBC institute: the one by Yasin Dagdas, Youssef Belkhadir, and
Tim Clausen links the expertise of three groups to study autophagy, plant signalling pathways, and
chemical biology. The second “inter-VBC-institute” project is by Tim Clausen and Markus Hartl
from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) as a co-applicant. These projects demonstrate the
fertile ground that VBC provides for cooperation beyond the boundaries of an individual research
Fostering exchange and synergies in research, education and business is the main objective of
Vienna BioCenter. The WWTF’s decision to support this project is a testimonial for the thriving of
such synergies in one of Europe’s most dynamic life science hubs.
The selected projects
LS17-047: Dagdas/Belkhadir/Clausen: Manipulation of plant innate immune responses by small molecules probes.
LS17-029: Clausen/Hartl: bac-PROTAC: Developing proteolysis-targeting small molecules for the selective elimination of
bacterial proteins.
LS17-037: Tanaka: Photochemical control of biohybrid matrices to reconstitute nervous system organization from threedimensional
neural organoids.
LS17-003: Gerlich/Ameres: Elucidating sister chromatid structure by chemical DNA labeling and conformation capture

About Vienna BioCenter
Vienna BioCenter (VBC) is a leading life sciences location in Europe, offering an extraordinary combination of research,
business and education on a single campus: 1,700 employees, 1,300 students, 88 research groups and 18 biotech
companies. Scientists from 69 nations create a highly dynamic environment of international standards.
Raquel Diaz Francia, MBA
T +43 1 79730 3609 / raquel.diaz@vbc.ac.at