Frontier research supporting EU4Health

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From cancer research to new diagnostic tools, from the biology of viruses to mental health, many ERC grantees’ research address health challenges. While the ERC funds their ideas without pre-determined priorities, their work contributes to advance knowledge and provide concrete solutions in support of the EU4Health programme.

  • 2281 projects, worth more than € 4.6 billion, have been funded for health-related research
  • 2377 researchers and their teams are located in 29 EU member states and Associated countries
  • While most projects are funded in the Life sciences domain (1482), many come from the physical sciences and engineering domain (108) or social sciences and humanities (391)

Scientific synergies

The analysis focused on eight research areas represented below by red circles. The circles size is proportional to the number of ERC projects funded that are relevant to these policies. The strength of the connection between policy areas is represented by the thickness of the arc, which is proportional to the number of shared scientific fields.



Methodological developments

The main methodological developments provided by ERC projects are expected in the field of computational modelling as well as simulations with a focus on in silico model and machine learning. Other prominent methodological developments are experimental methods with a focus on imaging, microscopy and animal models. 


A selection of relevant research

  • ERC grantee Maya Schuldiner has harnessed 21st-century microscopy and employed an interdisciplinary approach to visualise basic cellular phenomena for the first time. Her work radically altered the established understanding of organelles – the functional elements of a cell – in the field of cell biology. The findings also have implications for understanding and treating rare genetic conditions. Read more
  • ERC grantee Ugur Sahin is driving a new generation of mRNA cancer vaccines. His interdisciplinary team is using cutting-edge technology to develop vaccines that enhance immune responses to tumour mutations in individual cancer patients. This frontier research is not only changing the course of personalised cancer treatment, but also stimulating a general acceptance of mRNA as an immunotherapy solution with high potential in terms of vaccines against infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Read more
  • Every cell in the human body contains a blueprint of DNA which enables it to create a perfect copy when the cell divides. ERC grantee John Diffley has unlocked new opportunities in structural biology by succeeding to recreate the entire DNA replication process. His research has generated a deeper understanding of an essential process in human cells and has inspired molecular research, with implications for the study and treatment of cancer. Read more
  • Developing mathematical models to describe the role of musical performance could open the door to new applications, including treating cardiac arrhythmia. ERC grantee Elaine Chew has brought together radically different disciplines in order to drive and expand our understanding of this complex and elusive concept. Read more
  • ERC grantee Nuria Montserrat studies kidney diseases and healing and in particular how to regenerate mammal’s kidneys by modelling genetic kidney disorders. The engineered mini-organs her team produced have served as model to study SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Maria Carmen Collado studies the mechanisms behind the protective role of maternal microbes on the baby’s health. Her work opens up possibilities for research and applications in the field of personalized nutrition and medicine, for mothers and infants. Read more
  • Daniel Miller and his team lead a world-wide project examining the global impact of new social media and how the rise of the smartphone is changing people’s relationship to age and health. Read more