Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of the Department of Life Sciences and a member of the National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev has won a prestigious Horizon 2020 European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant.
Microorganisms make up most of the earth’s biomass. They are the key drivers of fundamental biochemical processes which are the source of life on our planet. Nature divided these microorganisms into communities or consortioms which usually carry out a vital metabolic function. One such example is microbial communites living in association with multicellular organisms. In this sense, gut microbial communities of vertebrate animals have been shown to play a major role in multiple attributes of their hosts.
“My major scientific passion is to understand the communal interactions, ecology and evolution of these complex microbial communities and their downstream effect on the host,” says Mizrahi.
ERC Starting Grants provide attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue groundbreaking, high-gain/ high-risk research at the frontiers of knowledge. Funding per grant: up to € 1.5 million over a five year duration plus up to € 0,5 million for large equipment.
The European Research Council awarded Starting Grants to 291 early-career researchers this year. In addition to Prof. Mizrahi, Dr. Natan Rubin, and Dr. Eyal Arbely also received ERC Starting Grants this year.