Ivan Dikic awarded ERC Advanced Investigator Grant
April 2017. Ivan Dikic, IBC2 director and a member of CEF and BMLS, has been awarded an Advanced Investigator Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). It is the second time that Dikic receives the prestigious grant, which entails funding of € 2.5 million for the next five years. Within his new project, Dikic will be investigating how bacteria manipulate the ubiquitin system of their host organism. "Bacteria are rapidly changing chemical factories that subdue human cells and exploit them for their own needs. We focus on foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Shigella that cause around 200 million infections and more than 250.000 deaths per year”, explains Dikic. “We will investigate how bacterial toxins containing different enzymatic activities cause cell and tissue damages, eventually resulting in symptoms of infection.”
The ultimate goal is to fully understand the role of the ubiquitin system in bacterial infections and develop new strategies for combating infectious diseases. To this purpose, Dikic is working together with partners in the pharmaceutical sector. “Targeting bacterial effectors that act as toxins is a relatively new approach, which aims at preventing bacterial pathogenicity and works complementary to antibiotics. This is a very critical field of research as bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics is becoming an alarming medical problem”, comments Dikic.
Kerstin Koch, Institute of Biochemistry II, Goethe University Medical School, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Tel. +49 (0)69 6301 84250, k.koch(at)em.uni-frankfurt.de