Research the architecture of Synapses

Prof. Dr. Fan Liu, Source: Krzysztof Szafranek

Fan Liu receives 1.5 Million Euros of Funding from the European Research Council

09/14/2020 · Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie

Prof. Dr. Fan Liu from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) receives a prestigious ERC Starting Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The scientist is granted a total funding of up to 1.5 million euros for a period of five years for her highly innovative research on the interactions and spatial organizations of synaptic proteome.

Brain function crucially depends on chemical neurotransmission at synapses, while, conversely, synaptic dysfunction underlies neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Synapses are composed of more than 2,000 distinct proteins, spatially organized into specialized protein complexes. However, how these thousands of proteins arrange themselves, and assemble into functional macromolecular machineries are not well understood.
The awarded SynLink project (Revealing the Synapse Architecture and Plasticity by Structural Interactomics) aims to deeper understand the overall picture of the spatial arrangement, molecular architecture and interaction network of the synaptic proteome. Furthermore, from a methodological perspective, the proposal also aims to establish innovative methods, in particular cross-linking mass spectrometry-based pipeline that allow system-wide profiling of the interactomes of complex biological systems.
“We envision these studies will yield groundbreaking insights into the molecular architecture of the synapse and thereby fill a crucial knowledge gap in neuroscience.” says Liu.

Prof. Dr. Fan Liu
Prof. Dr. Liu graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai with a B.Sc. in Biology. Afterwards she joined the lab of Prof. Dr. Mike Goshe at North Carolina State University and obtained her PhD in Biochemistry in 2013. Liu did her postdoc in the lab of Prof. Dr. Albert Heck (Utrecht, The Netherlands).
In 2017 Liu joined the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin as a group leader for Structural Interactomics and head of the proteomics research platform. In 2020, Liu is jointly appointed as W2-S professor with the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

ERC Starting Grants for promising young researchers
ERC Starting Grants are awarded to early-career researchers of any nationality with two to seven years of experience since completion of the PhD (or equivalent degree) and a scientific track record showing great promise. The research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries. The funding is provided for up to five years.

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