Competitive ERC Advanced Grant awarded to Peter Carmeliet for Tumor Endothelial Cell research

23 March 2017
Prof. Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven) is awarded an Advanced Grant. To qualify, a scientist has to be able to prove exceptional leadership and a solid track record of significant research achievements over at least 10 years.  To leverage their impact, individual ERC grants provide considerable amounts of money, up to €2,5million for an Advanced Grant, for example. With a budget like that, researchers can embark on a dream project that would otherwise remain out of reach. 

Innovative Project
Tumors stimulate blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) to nourish cancer cells, but current antiangiogenic
treatments lack efficacy and suffer resistance. Improving anti-angiogenic strategies for cancer is
a formidable unmet medical need with great societal impact. Normal endothelial cells (NECs),
which form blood vessels, are widely used for developing anti-angiogenic therapies, but tumor ECs (TECs),
“the” real target cells of anti-angiogenic therapy, have been dismissed for >40 years, even though they
are fundamentally different from NECs. Endothelial metabolism has been largely overlooked as regulator of angiogenesis, and nothing is known about TEC metabolism. The Peter Carmeliet lab (VIB-KU Leuven) pioneered studies on NEC metabolism.
 
Prof. Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven): “I hypothesize the innovative CONCEPT that TECs “hyper-activate” their metabolism to support tumor angiogenesis, and propose that targeting TEC metabolism is a novel alternative for anti-angiogenic therapy. Within this ERC project my objective is to provide preclinical proof-of- evidence for this pioneering concept, as it promises to open up new horizons / opportunities for basic research and clinical translation.”
 
44 ERC grants for VIB
The European Research Council (ERC) exists 10 years and was created to fund highly challenging projects, whether in terms of their envisaged scientific goals or in terms of the creativity and originality of the proposed approaches. Peter Carmeliet’s grant brings VIB’s total number of ERC grants to 44. Nearly 1 in 3 VIB group leaders have had their excellence acknowledged by ERC – further proof that VIB is in the top league of European research institutes.  


Peter Carmeliet (VIB-KU Leuven)
©VIB-Ine Dehanschutter