Stamatis Papathanasiou awarded the Rising Star Award


Stamatis Papathanasiou, a Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz, Germany, has been awarded the Rising Star Award from the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR), the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and the Fondazione Pezcoller.

Stamatis joined IMB in April of this year as a Junior Group Leader. His research focuses on understanding how errors during mitosis can lead to the formation of abnormal structures called micronuclei. These structures are created when a chromosome, or fragment of a chromosome, becomes isolated outside of the daughter cell’s nucleus after a cell division. Micronuclei are highly prone to DNA damage and chromosome rearrangements, which can contribute to cellular senescence and diseases such as cancer.

Stamatis is interested in studying how the formation of micronuclei alters chromatin organisation and gene expression in the affected chromosomes, and whether these effects persist in subsequent generations of daughter cells. The Rising Star Award will provide him with €100,000 in funding to pursue this project. The award is given to exceptional cancer researchers with ground-breaking projects that have been given an ‘A’ score in the ERC Starting Grant calls, but have not yet been funded.

Stamatis says, “Receiving this award is a huge honour and great support for our work. I am truly thankful to the EACR, the Pezcoller Foundation and The Mark Foundation for recognising our research ideas and motivating us to further tackle unknowns in the basic mechanisms of tumorigenesis.”

“We are thrilled to move forward towards understanding how errors in mitosis affect chromatin organisation and lead to epigenome instability. Our hope is to uncover unknown mechanisms of selective adaptation in cancer which would potentially expose vulnerabilities for novel therapeutic approaches.”

Stamatis will accept the Rising Star Award and deliver a presentation of his work at the EACR 2024 Congress in June in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. We congratulate Stamatis for his achievement and look forward to hearing more about his exciting research.

Further details

Further information can be found at https://magazine.eacr.org/stamatis-papathanasiou-receives-the-2024-eacr-mark-foundation-pezcoller-foundation-rising-star-award

Stamatis Papathanasiou is a Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). Further information about research in Papathanasiou lab can be found at www.imb.de/papathanasiou.

About the Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH

The Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB) is a centre of excellence in the life sciences that was established in 2011 on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Research at IMB focuses on the cutting-edge fields of epigenetics, genome stability, ageing and RNA biology. The institute is a prime example of successful collaboration between a private foundation and government: The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation has committed 154 million euros to be disbursed from 2009 until 2027 to cover the operating costs of research at IMB. The State of Rhineland-Palatinate has provided approximately 50 million euros for the construction of a state-of-the-art building and is giving a further 52 million in core funding from 2020 until 2027. For more information about IMB, please visit: www.imb.de.

About the Centre for Healthy Ageing

The Centre for Healthy Ageing (CHA) is a virtual research centre launched in 2021 that brings together scientists in basic and clinical research from across Mainz that focus on ageing and age-related diseases. These findings should be used to promote healthy ageing and to find treatments that could prevent or cure age-related disease. For more information, please visit: www.cha-mainz.de.

Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation

The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that is committed to the promotion of the medical, biological, chemical, and pharmaceutical sciences. It was established in 1977 by Hubertus Liebrecht (1931–1991), a member of the shareholder family of the Boehringer Ingelheim company. Through its funding programmes Plus 3, Exploration Grants and Rise up!, the Foundation supports excellent scientists during critical stages of their careers. It also endows the international Heinrich Wieland Prize, as well as awards for up-and-coming scientists in Germany. In addition, the Foundation funds institutional projects in Germany, such as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. www.boehringer-ingelheim-stiftung.de/en

Press contact for further information

Dr Ralf Dahm, Director of Scientific Management

Institute of Molecular Biology gGmbH (IMB), Ackermannweg 4, 55128 Mainz, Germany

Phone: +49 (0) 6131 39 21455, Email: press(at)imb.de