The European Research Council (ERC) has selected top scientists in Europe for its sixth Starting Grant competition. Jonathan Whitlock from The Kavli Insitute for Systems Neuroscience (KI) has been awarded this highly competitive, high-gain high-risk 1.5 M euro start-up grant to set up a research group on mirror cells in rats at the Kavli Institute. By bringing mirror cells to rats he shall take the first steps to understanding their circuit properties.
– I have extraordinarily high hopes for this project. By studying mechanisms for mirror cells as drafted, he will take social neuroscience to a new level, says Professor Edvard Moser, director of The Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience.
The Grant is created to enable talented scientists in the early stages of their careers to develop their best, innovative ideas across the Europe. Stefan Leutgeb, Ayumu Tashiro and Lisa Giacomo from KI have earlier received this prestigious grant, thus Whitlock is the fourth researcher to receive the Starting Grant.
Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn commented: – The European Research Council has changed the research landscape for young talent, and raised the level of science across Europe. It is funding blue-sky research that is advancing human knowledge, but also producing breakthroughs that could make their way into our daily lives in future. The ERC is now an established label of excellence, and it will go from strength to strength under Horizon 2020.
Jonathan Whitlock is one of three researchers’ working in Norway to receive this coveted funding, and the only within the field of Neuroscience. Find out more here.