Professor Tomo Tanaka of the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression has been awarded an European Research Council Advanced Grant to study how cells ensure accurate inheritance of their genetic information while they divide and multiply, a failure in which process causes various human diseases such as cancer and Down’s Syndrome. The grant of €2.3 million will support five positions of researchers for 5 years and provide advanced microscopes to study chromosome dynamics inside the cell.

ERC Advanced Grants allow exceptional established research leaders of any nationality to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects that open new directions in their respective research fields or other domains.The grants are awarded to researchers who have already established themselves as independent research leaders in their own right.

Professor Tanaka said, “I would like to thank the lab members and our collaborator Dr HelfridHochegger, of the University of Sussex, for their help to establish the research project. We are excited to have this opportunity and, using advance live-cell microscopy, we will study how chromosomes are structured and how they demonstrate dynamic motions. We expect that the research will eventually reveal long-standing secrets in chromosome regulation.”

Head of the Centre for Gene Regulation and Expression, Professor Julian Blow said, “I am delighted that Tomo has received this highly prestigious grant from the European Research Council. An ERC Advanced Grant is not only an acknowledgement of Tomo’s undisputed expertise in the field of chromosome biology, but also reinforces GRE’s status as a leading international research centre.”