Jan. 15, 2019

Prof. Michael M. Meijler, the Chair of BGU's Department of Chemistry has won a prestigious DIP grant sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for his research in the field of chemical communication between bacteria.

The prestigious program, which was inaugurated in 1997 by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), aims to strengthen excellence in German-Israeli research cooperation (in all scientific disciplines) and to give support to innovative joint projects.

Prof. Meijler's project is one of only two chosen to receive the grant this year out of applications from seven institutions in Israel. The research is planned for a period of five years, with an approved budget of €1,655,000.

The subject of the research project led by Prof. Meijler and his research partners Prof. Eran Elinav from the Weizmann Institute of Science and Prof. Matthias Mann from the Max Plack Institute of Biochemistry, is 'Chemical Proteomics Inside Us: Using Chemical Tools to Decipher Communication Between Bacteria and Humans.

The project focuses on a fundamental question: what happens to the microbiome in our gut when a new bacterial species makes its entrance? How are these invaders recognized and what are is the role of chemical signals that these bacteria secrete, and how are they sensed? Using the powerful tools of chemical proteomics and advanced animal model systems, the team aims to answer this seminal and dynamic puzzle that defines human health and disease.

Prof. Meijler completed his bachelor's degree in Chemistry and master's degree in Organic Chemistry at the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. He completed his PhD in Organic Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science. He joined the Department of Chemistry at BGU in 2006. Prof. Meijler has won a number of awards and grants including: the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in 2010 and 2013, the Toronto Prize for Excellence in Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, 2011; as main grants he was awarded an HFSP Young Investigator Grant, 2007-2010, an ERC Starting Grant, 2009-2014, as well as several ISF and BSF grants.