Human Frontier Science Program

These highly prestigious and competitive Program Grants are awarded for novel collaborations among highly interdisciplinary and international teams, involving at least two countries. In 2020, eight Young Investigator Grants and 20 Program Grants were selected for funding. Marino Zerial shares his award with Eletra Gizeli (Institute of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology Foundation for Research and Technology, Greece), Toshio Ando (WPI Nano Life Science Institute Kanazawa University, Japan), and Andrew J. Spakowitz (Department of Chemical Engineering, Stanford University, USA). Gaining insights into the structure and function of biological membranes is crucial to understand cell organization. Molecular components, such as lipids and proteins have already been identified, but an understanding of their self-organization and dynamics as well as biophysical and biomechanical properties is still lacking. The joint project with the title “Self-organization and biomechanical properties of the endosomal membrane” will address this problem by employing a combination of soft-matter physics, bio-sensing, microscopy, biochemistry and cell biology, focussing on the early endosome membrane.
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