ERC Starting Grants to IMM researcher
Erik Melén has received starting grants from the European Research Council (ERC) for conducting his own independent research. The purpose of the ERC Starting Grants is to support talented early-career scientist, who have already produced excellent supervised work, into becoming independent researchers and the research leaders of tomorrow. The ERC Starting Grants are worth EUR 1.5 million, distributed over five years.
New biomarkers for respiratory disease
Erik Melén is a pediatric allergist and an Associate Professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM). His ERC project, TRIBAL, aims to provide new knowledge for targeted prevention in children at risk of adult chronic lung disease, and to identify potential targets for new asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) drugs using omics-based biomarkers.
In children, asthma is the most common chronic disease and more than 300 million people are affected globally. There is no curative treatment available. Persistence of childhood asthma into adult life is associated with lung function impairment and increased risk of COPD.
“If you want to prevent adult chronic disease, you need to start early. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to receive ERC funding for this important work. Also, going through the ERC application process has been a very enriching experience for me as a scientist,” says Erik Melén.
TRIBAL is a follow-up project using data and repeated bio-sampling from the Swedish BAMSE study, a world-leading population-based birth cohort of 4,089 participants, also led by Erik Melén.