NIHR Imperial BRC researchers win top EU funding awards


The European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants, worth a total of €653 million, will benefit 269 senior researchers across Europe, giving them a chance to realise their most creative ideas and potentially produce results that will have a major impact on science, society and the economy. Imperial was one of Europe’s top recipients of funding and was second out of UK institutions.

Professor Jorge Ferrer, NIHR Imperial BRC Genetics & Genomics Theme Lead, received a total of €2,243,746 for the project: “Expanding the genetic etiological and diagnostic spectrum of monogenic diabetes mellitus (DecodeDiabetes)”

Imperial College Vice-Provost (Research & Enterprise) Professor Nick Jennings said: “This significant funding award recognises Imperial’s position as a European leader in producing impactful research to benefit society.”

“Whole genome sequencing is quickly becoming a routine clinical instrument but the ability to decipher DNA variants is still largely limited to a protein-coding segment of DNA (exons) that comprise only 1% of the genome” says Professor Ferrer. “If successful, this project will expand the diagnostic spectrum of diabetes because it will discover new genetic regulators of diabetes-relevant networks, and will provide a framework to understand regulatory variation in Mendelian disease” he added.

Professor Sebastian Johnston, NIHR Imperial BRC Infection & Antimicrobial Resistance investigator, also received a total of €2,499,999 for the project: “Mechanisms of adverse effects of beta-agonists in asthma (MaeBAia)”

  • Professor Jorge Ferrer
    Professor Jorge Ferrer
    Theme Lead, Genetics & Genomics
  • Professor Sebastian Johnston
    Professor Sebastian Johnston
    NIHR Senior Investigator/Asthma UK Clinical Professor
  • European Research Council