Luís Moita, principal investigator at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC), is the winner of the 2nd Edition of the ERC-Oeiras Award, with a value of 240.000€. This award recognizes the merit of his project submitted to the European Research Council (ERC), allowing him to continue his research to understand how the immune system works and, potentially, develop treatments based on the acquired knowledge.
Luís Moita, a doctor by training, leads the Innate Immunity and Inflammation Laboratory at the IGC since 2014, after 8 years leading a laboratory at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular Lobo Antunes, in Lisbon. He did his postdoc at the Whitehead Institute (MIT) and the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) in Boston, United States of America, after completing his PhD at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. He has excelled in the study of the immune system in response to infection, namely sepsis, and sees “the support of the Oeiras Municipality as critical for this project, at a time that the funding opportunities available in Portugal are clearly not enough”. The funded project aims to identify the molecular mechanisms related to the perturbation of physiological processes in the presence of the microorganisms that cause them and how this defines the type and the efficacy of the immune response.
ERC grants are among the most prestigious sources of science funding in the world. From the competing projects (ERC-2021-STG, ERC-2020-ADG e ERC-2021-COG) there were 8741 applications in Europe, from which 941 were selected. From these, 203 were Portuguese applications from which only 12 were selected. The ERC-Oeiras award is aimed at researchers who do or plan to do their research in institutions in the Municipality of Oeiras and who have submitted applications ranked as excellent by the ERC but have not received funding due to the unavailability of funds. This award will allow researchers to have the means to continue their cutting-edge research, committing themselves to submit a new proposal for ERC funding within 2 years.
The ERC-Oeiras is an award financed by Oeiras Municipality, awarded annually, which aims to support scientific research, capture, and retain talent in the Municipality of Oeiras and increase the attractiveness of Portugal as a science hub.
About the Oeiras ERC Frontier Research Incentive Awards
The research incentive awards “Oeiras – ERC Frontier Research Incentive Awards” are an initiative that funds candidates from any scientific area from institutions based in Oeiras, who have submitted applications for individual fellowships to the European Research Council (ERC) rated as excellent. This funding will enable to continue top research activities, allowing supported researchers to resubmit a proposal to ERC . The initiative is financed by Oeiras Municipality and coordinated by the Gulbenkian Collaborative Centre at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência through a monitoring committee made up of members of the Oeiras City Council, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica and Instituto Superior Técnico.