Two new grants within the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre

ERC Consolidator Grant

HajkovaPetra Hajkova, the head of the CSC’s Reprogramming and Chromatin Group, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant of €2 million. The grant will fund cutting-edge research into the dynamic character of nucleic acid modifications during embryonic development in mice. Elucidating these mechanisms will prove crucial to further our understanding of the regulation of epigenetic information in vivo and during reprogramming back to pluripotency in vitro. “Studying the mechanisms underlying reprogramming could enhance our understanding of epigenetic changes observed early in cancer,” says Petra. “I’m very excited about the grant because it will give us the opportunity to carry out some outstanding experiments,” she adds. Altogether 5 CSC researchers have been awarded one of the highly endowed ERC grants. Besides Petra Hajkova, these are Jean-Baptiste Vannier, Irene Miguel-Aliaga, Till Bartke and Amanda Fisher.

Imperial JRF

SarkiesPeter Sarkies from the CSC’s Transgenerational Epigenetic Inheritance and Evolution Group has been awarded a Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) from Imperial College London. Peter, who joined the CSC from the University of Cambridge in October 2014, says the funds will be directed towards in lab evolution experiments with Caenorhabditis elegans to study the interaction between transposon-silencing mechanisms and evolutionary novelty in real time.

“It’s going to really help me make the transition from being a post-doctoral researcher to running an independent group, and give me the support I need to develop an innovative research programme,” says Peter. “I’m looking forward to strengthening links between Imperial and the CSC, so together we can conduct cutting-edge research,” he adds.

Peter Sarkies is the CSC’s third Junior Research Fellow, Andre Brown and Tobias Warnecke (both from the Institute’s Integrative Biology Section) received theirs in 2013.


Almut Caspary
Institute of Clinical Science
Faculty of Medicine

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