Oct. 02, 2017

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Dr. Miriam (Mira) Amiram has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. Her research will focus on: Engineering translation machinery to produce light-responsive protein-polymers. The goal of this project is to enable the construction of biomaterials and proteins that can change their properties in response to visible light. Ultimately, such a technology could permit the design of drug delivery systems that can be externally controlled by the patient or doctor, novel therapeutics, and tools to study and engineer biological systems by directing their behavior with light.

Miriam holds a BA in economics and computer science, an MA in economics and an MSc. in Biotechnology Engineering from BGU. She did her PhD at Duke University in the US in the field of biomedical engineering and her postdoc at Yale University in the field of synthetic biology. She is a member of the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering​.

Her research interests include developing synthetic biology tools to incorporate unnatural amino acids for the design of materials and proteins with new functions for biotechnological purposes.

ERC Starting Grants are one of the most prestigious and lucrative research grants a young researcher can receive. Researchers must apply within two to seven years of receiving their PhD. Funding can reach as high as 2 million Euros over five years.

ERC In a Nutshell:

The ERC aims to:

  • Support the best of the best across all fields of science, scholarship and engineering
  • Promote wholly investigator-driven, or 'bottom-up' frontier research
  • Encourage the work of the established and next generation of independent top research leaders in Europe
  • Reward innovative proposals by placing emphasis on the quality of the idea rather than the research area
  • Raise the status and visibility of European frontier research and the very best researchers of today and tomorrow

The ERC is a flagship component of Horizon 2020, the European Union's Research Framework Programme for 2014 to 2020.