• A researcher from the University of Oviedo has been given a "Starting Grant", the most prestigious European grant for young talents

    July 12, 2011

    Ángel Manteca has been selected by the European Research Council and he will be given 1,3 millions of Euros to develop a five-year project related to the study of Streptomyces bacteria, which can be found in the basis of many antibiotics and which own a high industrial interest.

    Development cycle of Streptomyces bacteria
    Ángel Manteca, researcher from the department of Functional Biology (Faculty of Medicine and Sciences of Health) has been selected by the European Research Council (ERC) to be given a grant from the "Starting Grant" programme, which was created to support young talents and innovative and cutting-edge researches.

    This grant is one the most important ones in the European sphere, due to its economic awarding and its prestige. Ángel Manteca will receive 1,3 millions of Euros to perform a project related to Streptomyces bacteria for five years, something that "means a stability which will allow me to create my own research group as well as being able to develop a research line with a sufficient amount of tools", the scientist has affirmed.

    The selected project, entitled "Caracterización biomolecular de la diferenciación de Streptomyces y su relación con la producción de metabolitos secundarios" (Bimolecular Characterization from the difference of Streptomyces and their relation with the production of secondary metabolites) is framed within the life sciences field and it consists on a basic research centred in the study of the streptomyces bacteria's development cycle, which own a huge industrial interest under a very innovative perspective. "Streptomyces are a type of bacteria with a complex development cycle, very similar to fungus", Manteca has explained, "which produce an 80% of secondary metabolites", i.e., bioactive compounds useful in biomedicine as antibiotics, antitumor, immunosuppressive or antifungal, among others. Furthermore, these bacteria can be used as an example to understand the evolutionary origin of some processes like the cellular apoptosis.

    The Starting programme belongs to call of European projects from the IDEAS sub-programme within the VII Framework Programme, which funds research in Europe. In the Starting modality, it funds the development of cutting-edge research executed by individual teams, offering new opportunities to the most brilliant and creative young researchers. This programme receives thousands of applications from all around Europe yearly. In 2010, from the 400 projects which were financed, 23 corresponded to Spanish researchers. This is the second "Starting Grant" project of the University of Oviedo, which can be added to the one which Heather Stoll, researcher of the Faculty of Geology, was given in 2009.