Pedro Carvalho awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant

Pedro Carvalho awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant

Professor Pedro Carvalho, group leader at the Dunn School has won one of the 2018 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants, which were announced on the 29th of November. The prestigious ERC Consolidator Grants are aimed towards mid-career scientists (7-12 years since the completion of their PhD) who intend to establish or strengthen their research groups. This year, only 12% of the 2389 research proposals received by the ERC were awarded the grant. Pedro’s group secured a five-year grant of 2 million euros to carry out research into nuclear envelope architecture and homeostasis.

The nuclear envelope (NE) is central to cellular organization, influencing a myriad of processes, from gene regulation and repair to cell motility and fate. These critical roles of the NE depend on its elaborate structure, in particular on the organisation of its inner nuclear membrane (INM). The INM is continuous with the rest of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), but contains a distinct set of proteins. Importantly, mutations in several INM proteins are linked to diseases such as muscular dystrophies and premature ageing.

In the last few years, the research group led by Pedro has discovered that in yeast cells the integrity and homeostasis of the INM proteome is maintained by a protein quality control system. This system selects against proteins that are aberrantly folded and dysfunctional, hence maintaining the normal functioning of the INM. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are still unclear. With this grant, Pedro and his colleagues plan to systematically dissect protein homeostasis in the INM by combining various approaches such as proteomics, genetics and imaging. Gaining a deeper understanding into the turnover and regulation of proteins in the INM can shed light on the diseases caused by INM protein defects.

Pedro was delighted to hear the news, saying: “This is simply fantastic! This grant will allow us to expand our yeast work into mammalian cells, which have a much more complex and dynamic nuclear envelope. This grant will also help us solidify my group at the Dunn School, to where we moved a couple of years ago.”

To learn more about research done by the Carvalho lab, please visit: https://www.path.ox.ac.uk/content/pedro-carvalho

For more information about the ERC Consolidator Grant, check out this webpage: https://erc.europa.eu/funding/consolidator-grants

Written by Sheng Kai Pong

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 13