Michael Zabolocki receives Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship

Michael Zabolocki, postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Jürgen Knoblich at IMBA, was awarded the European Commission’s highly competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship program has selected Michael Zabolocki, a postdoctoral researcher who recently joined the lab of Jürgen Knoblich, for one of the program’s highly competitive European postdoctoral fellowships. Michael Zabolocki did his PhD at Flinders University, in Australia, where he developed experimental and analytic methodologies to study electrical signaling and neuronal morphology in the human cortex and in stem cell-derived neuronal cultures. 

Zabolocki joined the Knoblich lab as a postdoctoral fellow in August 2023. In his project, Zabolocki will build on the recent successes of the Knoblich group by using established patient-derived brain organoids to study Tuberous Sclerosis, a rare genetic disease that causes epilepsy in 60-90% of patients. “Our brain organoids recapitulate fundamental key concepts of neurogenesis in vitro, including the diverse cell types, 3D tissue architecture and complex functional activity present in early developing brains.” Zabolocki will use high-resolution electrophysiological techniques to study the development of pathological neural network activity in human brain organoids. “My project will study the involvement of CLIP cells, a specific type of interneuron progenitor, in the formation of pathological signaling circuits that cause epilepsy.” Zabolocki’s research will aim to unravel the developmental defects causing epilepsy in Tuberous Sclerosis and could be a first step for the development of potential preventive treatments. 

I’m grateful for the support by the European Commission and excited about the opportunity to be a part of this worldwide community of excellent scientists,” says Michael Zabolocki. “The support and advice from the Knoblich lab, as well as the already established technologies that my project builds upon, have been essential for my project proposal.” Regarding the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, Zabolocki appreciates “not only the generous funding, which will be essential in this new stage of my career, but also the name that this fellowship is associated with.” 


About the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship 

The European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship Program awards 2-year postdoctoral fellowships to outstanding scientists working in research institutions in EU member states, to support their careers and foster excellence in research.  

The selection process evaluates the applicant's achievements and the scientific quality of the project and the host laboratory. The process is highly competitive, with less than 15 percent of applicants receiving a fellowship. On top of a monthly stipend, the fellowship provides research and travel allowances, and the program organizes a yearly meeting.