ERC Advanced Grants

Advanced Grants are designed to enable outstanding, top research leaders to pursue their cutting-edge, high-risk scientific projects in Europe.

  Stefano Piccolo – DENOVOSTEM: De novo generation of somatic stem cells: regulation and mechanisms of cell plasticity (2015-2020)


Stefano Piccolo is Full Professor of Molecular Biology at the Department of Molecular Medicine. He studies how cells sense their environment and use this information to build and maintain tissues with specific form, size and function. He is also interested in how disruption of these homeostatic mechanisms leads to tumor formation, progression and metastasis.

His most recent work is mainly centered on the biology of YAP/TAZ, two closely related transcriptional regulators playing essential functions in tissue regeneration and cancer. He has contributed to the fields of cancer stem cells, molecular oncology, signal transduction, tissue regeneration and biology of somatic stem cells. In 2015, he obtained an ERC Advanced grant to conduct research on the mechanisms of cell plasticity of somatic cells in adult tissues (2015-2020).

  Antonella Viola – STePS: Signalling Compartmentalization and vesicle trafficking at the Phagocytic Synapses (2013-2018)


Antonella Viola is Full Professor of General Pathology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences. She obtained her Master degree in Biology (1991) and her PhD in Evolutionary Biology (1995) at the University of Padova. She worked as researcher at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Switzerland (1995-1999) and as EMBO fellow at EMBL Monterotondo (1999-2000). She was then Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Padova (2002-2007) and at the University of Milan (2007-2014), and back to Padova in 2014 as Associate Professor, and in 2015 as Full Professor. She is an EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organization) member.
Her research interests include T cell and macrophage activation, tumor immunology and mesenchymal stem cells. She received funding from several national and international institutions (e.g., Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Research, E-rare, US Department of Defence) and foundations (e.g., Telethon, AIRC). In 2012 she won an ERC Advanced grant for the project STePS (2013-2018), which analyses the molecular interactions leading to the orchestration of phagocytic synapses for phagocytosis and activation, two events crucial for immune responses to pathogens as well as for inflammation. She also collaborates as partner in the EU project MERLIN that looks at developing stem cell-based therapies for liver disease.

Eu web site


  Rosario Rizzuto – MitoCALCIUM: Mitochondrial calcium signalling: molecules, roles and pharmacological targeting (2012-2017)


Rosario Rizzuto is Full Professor of General Pathology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and since 2015 he is Rector of the University of Padova. He completed his Medical degree (1986) and his PhD in Biology and molecular pathology (1991) at the University of Padova. After two years as research associate at the University of Padova (1991-1992), he became Professor at the University of Ferrara (1992-2008) and then came back to University of Padova as Full Professor in 2008.
His research activity focuses on the study of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU), the Ca2+ uptake pathway of mitochondria identified in 2011 by his research group. This research has been supported by grants from different national programs and foundations (e.g., Telethon) as well as from the ERC, which funded the Advanced grant MitoCALCIUM (2012-2017). He has also been awarded several national and international prizes, including the Chiara D’Onofrio prize, the Biotec Award, the Theodor Bucher medal, and in 2014 the Antonio Feltrinelli prize by the Accademia dei Lincei. He published 238 papers in peer-reviewed journals (ISI Web of Science: total citations >20.000, h-index 81), 14 book chapters and over 200 meeting abstracts.

Eu web site

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