Professor Eaton’s funding will enable him and his team to investigate the preventive role the molecule nitroxyl can have for cardiovascular disease. Nitroxyl is formed in cells, and drugs are currently in development that release it to help prevent heart failure. However, little is currently known about how exactly the molecule works, and why it has the effect that it does. Professor Eaton and his team hope that by discovering more about how it controls the way our heart works, we can use this knowledge to create additional therapies for cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of death in the world.
In total, 218 Advanced Grants were awarded to researchers across Europe. Totalling €544 million, they support cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, from medicine and physics to social sciences and humanities.
The ERC Advanced Grant funding is amongst the most prestigious and competitive EU funding schemes, providing researchers with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects that could lead to major scientific breakthroughs. They are awarded to established, leading researchers with a proven track-record of significant research achievements over the past decade.
Professor Philip Eaton, Professor of Cardiovascular Biochemistry at Queen Mary University of London, said: “I’m honoured that my project has been chosen for such a prestigious grant. So much progress in preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases has been made since I first entered the field, but almost 18 million people still die from them every year.
“We hope our research will be able to shed light on nitroxyl. It’s a very promising lead and may help unlock new treatments for people at risk of heart disease, letting them live healthier, happier lives.”
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “ERC grants are a top recognition and a significant commitment from our best researchers. The €544 million funding puts our 218 research leaders, together with their teams of postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and research staff, in pole position to push back the boundaries of our knowledge, break new ground and build foundations for future growth and prosperity in Europe.”