27 new projects approved

The results of the 11th and 12th calls for proposals are out. The Scientific Executive Board (SEB) of SystemsX.ch and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) expert group have approved a total of 27 new research projects in the field of systems biology. The projects will be funded with a total of over CHF 5 million.

Results of the 11th call

The focus of the 11th call lay once more on the promotion of young scientists. In the Transition Postdoc Fellowship (TPdF) category, 8 out of 33 project proposals were approved and will receive funding for two years. Amongst the successful TPdF applicants are two from the University of Zurich and two from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, the newest SystemsX.ch partner institution. The Universities of Basel and Geneva, as well as the EPF Lausanne and the ETH Zurich will be the host institution for one TPdF each – see table 1. 

Table 1: The TPdFs approved in 2015

Title Principle investigator Host Research Group
Exploring the silent fitness landscape Victor Garcia (ZHAW) Maria Anisimova
A systems biology approach to the regulation of compartmentalization through liquid phase transitions Reinoud de Groot (UZH) Lucas Pelkmans
Targeting bottlenecks in the evolution of metastatic potential - modeling metastatic signaling networks with imaging mass cytometry Hartland Jackson (UZH) Bernd Bodenmiller
Targeted intron retention as a novel mechanism for neuronal plasticity Oriane Mauger (UniBas) Peter Scheiffele
Reconstituting ESCRT-III-mediated membrane fission in vitro Joachim Moser von Filseck (UniGE) Aurélien Roux
Single cell analysis of the onset of circadian oscillations in differentiating ES cells Eric Paquet (EPFL) Felix Naef
Molecular Signalling Fingerprinting of Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Fate Weijia Wang (ETHZ) Timm Schroeder
Modeling Mechano-biology of the artery to drive the design of novel bioresorbable stents Gautham Sivachander Yepuri Ramesh (ZHAW) Sven Hirsch

In the Interdisciplinary PhD Project (IPhD) category, 10 projects out of 25 proposals were approved and will be funded for three years. The successful main applicants come from the EPF Lausanne and the University of Zurich (3 projects each), from the University of Lausanne (2 projects), the University of Basel and the University of Fribourg  (1 project each) – see table 2.

Table 2: The IPhD Projects approved in 2015

Title Applicants
Nuclear Organization of Expanded Trinucleotide Repeats Vincent Dion (UniL); Ioannis Xenarios (SIB, UniL)
A systems immunology guided strategy for immunogen engineering Bruno Emanuel Ferreira De Sousa Correia (EPFL); Sai Reddy (ETHZ)
Molecular mechanisms of stochastic chromatin effector interaction dynamics Beat Fierz (EPFL); Vassily Hatzimanikatis (EPFL)
Decision making: a multi-stage approach Michael Herzog (EPFL); Wulfram Gerstner (EPFL)
Baysian learning of quantal parameters at single synapse resolution Martin Müller (UZH); Jean-Pascal Pfister (UZH, ETHZ)
Deciphering a prototypical MAP kinase signaling network at the single cell level using a genetically-encodable optogenetic circuit Olivier Pertz (UniBas); Mustafa Khammash (ETHZ)
A systems biology approach to understanding the mode of action of new antibiotics against Gram-negative bacteria John A. Robinson (UZH); Leo Erbel (UZH)
Modeling the neural circuit for sensorimotor transformations in Drosophila Simon Sprecher (UniFR); Walter Senn (UniBE); Christian Mazza (UniFR)
Systems analysis of the bistable transfer competence pathway of a prokaryotic integrative and conjugative element Jan Roelof van der Meer (UniL); Christian Mazza (UniFR)
Evolutionary Systems Biology: Robustness, cryptic genetic variation and innovation in transcription factor binding Andreas Wagner (UZH); Yolanda Schärli Renggli (UZH); Joshua Payne (UZH)

Neither the approved IPhD Projects nor TPdFs can be extended beyond their standard duration due to the fact that SystemsX.ch will come to an end in 2018.

Results of the 12th call

The 12th call invited proposals for Special Opportunities Projects. After a two-step selection process, the SEB chose 9 projects out of 51 submitted proposals. Besides possessing a “high risk, high gain” factor and innovative character, an important criteria for these proposals was that they are not eligible for other sources of funding (SNSF, CTI, etc.). The 9 selected projects meet these requirements and will be funded for no more than two years – see table 3.

Table 3: The Special Opportunities Projects approved in 2015

Title Principle investigators
SynucleiX: A Platform for Systems Biology of Parkinson's Disease Adriano Aguzzi (USZ/UZH); Simone Hornemann (USZ/UZH)
Bidirectional, tunable and spatio-temporally controlled multigene regulation using CRISPR-sgRNA-arrays Konrad Basler (UZH)
Protein-LEGO: A high-throughput approach to dissect protein-genome interactions by quantifying the contribution of individual protein domains Tuncay Baubec (UZH/FMI)
An integrative microfluidic platform for rapid and parallel gene expression and chromatin landscape profiling in few (<100) to single cells Bart Deplancke (EPFL)
High Throughput Single Yeast Cell Secretion Analysis in nL-Droplets Petra S. Dittrich (ETHZ); Lars Blank (RWTH Aachen)
Development of a high-throughput platform for systems immunology and protein engineering Sebastian Maerkl (EPFL)
A New Technology for Affinity Proteomics in Systems Biology Andreas Plückthun (UZH)
In vivo Group II Intron Folding and Self-Splicing on the Single Molecule Level Roland Sigel (UZH)
Associating HDL synapse nano-organisation with clinical HDL particle signaling capacity Bernd Wollscheid (ETHZ); Manfred Claassen (ETHZ)

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