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Awards & Honors

Daniel Gerlich and Stefan Ameres receive WWTF funding for joint project

The Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds (WWTF, Vienna Science, Research and Technology Fund) is among the most important funding tools for basic research in Austria. Its recent call for projects in the area of Chemical Biology has attracted a high number of applications. The Vienna BioCenter (VBC) has been highly successful: six research groups on campus contributing to four projects will be supported by WWTF, amounting to half of all funded projects.

At IMBA, group leaders Daniel Gerlich and Stefan Ameres were awarded a WWTF grant for a joint project with Ronald Micura, a chemist at University of Innsbruck. In this project, they aim to unravel the organization of human chromosomes by a new chemical labelling methodology.

Chromosomes are physical carriers of genetic information. In proliferating cell populations, chromosomes provide two main functions: during cell division, one copy of the genetic information is mechanically transported to each of the daughter cells, while during interphase the genetic information is duplicated and expressed. To provide these functions, chromosomes reorganize during cell cycle progression, yet how the replicated DNA molecules fold and move apart within chromosomes has remained unclear.

The WWTF-funded project is aimed at developing a method to selectively mark each sister chromatid, such that the internal 3D structure of DNA can be reconstructed based on high-throughput DNA sequencing. 

“With this technique, we expect to gain insights into one of the most fundamental questions about chromosomes: how do two centimeter-sized DNA molecules fold into separate mechanical bodies such that they can be moved by the mitotic spindle”

Daniel Gerlich

Senior Scientist

VBC Announcement:
Vienna Science and Technology Fund: WWTF