Dirk Inzé, Director of the Center for Plant Systems Biology of EU-LIFE member VIB, appointed to the ERC Scientific Council

Today, Professor Dirk Inzé, Director of the Center for Plant Systems Biology of EU-LIFE member VIB since 2002, has been appointed member of the Scientific Council of the ERC.

Dirk Inzé is a global leader in plant biology. His research ambition is to obtain a holistic understanding of the molecular networks regulating plant organ growth and crop productivity. Under his directorship, the Center for Plant Systems Biology – currently employing approximately 300 individuals – became one of the world leading centers for advanced plant sciences.

With Nektarios Tavernarakis, Research Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB-FORTH), Vice-President of the European Research Council, and Geneviève Almouzni, honorary director of the Research Center of the Institut Curie, there are now three leading scientists of EU-LIFE institutes appointed active members of the ERC Scientific Council. Previously, Isabelle Vernos, group leader at the CRG and Giulio Superti-Furga, Scientific Director of the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, used to be members of the ERC Scientific Council.

The European Research Council is still one of the most successful achievements of the European Community in Research & Innovation. It is the most important and prestigious funding institution for basic research in any field conducted within the European Union. Excellence is the sole criterion for selection; there are neither thematic priorities, nor geographical or other quotas for funding. To date, the ERC has funded around 9,800 top researchers at various stages of their careers and over 50,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams. It offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants.

The ERC Scientific Council, composed of 22 distinguished scientists and scholars representing the European scientific community, is the independent governing body of the ERC. Its main role is setting the ERC strategy and selecting the peer review evaluators. Members are nominated by an independent search committee and appointed by the European Commission. It's is chaired by ERC President ad interim Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.

In total, five eminent scientists have been appointed by the European Commission and announced today: Professor Liselotte Højgaard, University of Copenhagen, Professor Dirk Inzé, Ghent University from the Life Sciences domain and Professor Alice Valkárová, Charles University, Prague, Professor Rodrigo Martins, NOVA University, Lisbon, Professor Nicola Spaldin, ETH Zürich, from the Physical Sciences and Engineering domain. They will take office on 1 January 2021.