ERC Consolidator Grant to Vittorio Limongelli


Institutional Communication Service

9 December 2020

Vittorio Limongelli, professor of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and researcher at the USI Institute of Computational Science, has received an ERC Grant, the most prestigious research fund awarded by the European Research Council on a highly competitive basis to the best researchers in the "Old Continent".

Prof. Limongelli is among the recipients of the latest ERC Consolidator Grants, addressed to researchers who are consolidating their career. He has been selected for his project "CoMMBi - Computational Microscope on Molecular Binding: from atom to cell membrane scale", which aims to reshape the the border of the state-of-the-art in the field of molecular interactions between drugs and their biological targets. In particular, by developing advanced simulation methods with the use of artificial intelligence and some experimental techniques, Prof. Limongelli proposes to create "virtual microscopes" in which it will be possible to reproduce the binding mechanism and the residence time of a drug in its biological target in physiological conditions. The research will focus on G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), which represent the molecular target of about 40% of drugs on the market, and will aim to reproduce these receptors, the other components of the cell membrane, drugs and molecules responsible for the signal transduction inside the cell in realistic space-time scale. The project will have a deep impact on drug discovery with the design of more efficacious drugs with predicted residence time and this clearly hits a hot topic of strong medical need with social and economic impact especially in the era of predictive, preventive and personalised medicine.

The European Research Council (ERC) today announced the winners of its latest call for proposals Consolidator Grant. The funding that is part of the EU's current research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, is endowed with a total of €655 million. With this support, new beneficiaries will be able to consolidate their research teams and increase the impact of their projects.

The ERC has received a total of 2506 applications for the Consolidator Grant 2020, of which only about 13% were successful.