Dioscuri Centres of Scientific Excellence – results of the first call

The heads of the first Dioscuri Centres Aleksandra Pekowska and Grzegorz Sumara will each set up a group in Warsaw.

The leaders of the first two Dioscuri Centres have been selected. In the selection procedure, Aleksandra Pekowska and Grzegorz Sumara prevailed against 45 applicants from all over the world. The Dioscuri Programme was initiated by the Max Planck Society, is jointly managed with the Polish National Science Centre (NCN) and aims to establish internationally competitive research groups in Poland.

Starting next year, Aleksandra Pekowska will establish the Dioscuri Centre for Evolutionary and Functional Genomics of Astrocytes – specific cells in nervous tissue - at the Nencki Institute for Experimental Biology in Warsaw. She will be supported in her endeavors by her partner from Germany - Martin Vingron from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. Pekowska is currently conducting research at one of the US National Institutes of Health.

Grzegorz Sumara's Centre, which is also being established at the Nencki Institute, will focus on the elucidation of signaling pathways that play a role in metabolic diseases. Sumara is currently working at the University of Würzburg, where he is already cooperating with his future partner Martin Eilers. Each of the Dioscuri Centres of scientific excellence will be financed with up to 1.5 million euros for a period of five years. The costs will be shared equally between the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW), while the host institutions in Poland will provide the infrastructure.

The second call for Dioscuri Centres will be published in December 2018 and is open to applications from all scientific disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences.

Strengthening biological research in Poland: Aleksandra Pekowska moves from the USA to Warsaw, Grzegorz Sumara from Würzburg.

Grzegorz Sumara
Source: private archive of Grzegorz Sumara
Aleksandra Pekowska
Source: private archive of Aleksandra Pekowska

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