Strengthening German-Israeli cooperation

Max Planck Research Group Leader Constantinos Demetriades

Constantinos Demetriades wins Heineman project grant

Constantinos Demetriades, Max Planck Research Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing, won a three-year research grant funded by the Minna-James-Heineman Foundation and administered by the Minerva Foundation. The Heineman Project grant supports collaborative projects between scientists from Max Planck Institutes and the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr Demetriades will cooperate with Dr Ravid Straussman to investigate the effects of nutrient starvation on multiple cellular signaling pathways that play an important role in ageing and disease.

Collaborations between research groups can often facilitate projects that each group alone would not be able to realize. Driven by its founder’s vision, the Minna-James-Heineman Foundation therefore aims to promote cooperation between young Principal Investigators, who are at an early stage in their independent research career. The Heineman project grant especially supports newly formed collaborations between researchers from the Max Planck Society and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

“Receiving the Heineman project grant is a great honor for me”, says Constantinos Demetriades. “I am very grateful to the Minna-James-Heineman Foundation both for the financial support and for giving me the opportunity to start such an amazing collaboration”.

The collaboration

Dr Demetriades will collaborate with Dr Ravid Straussman, a cancer researcher at the Weizmann Institute. They will work together to investigate how cancer cells respond to nutrient availability, focusing on major cellular mechanisms that are commonly dysregulated in various diseases and over ageing. Because nutrient restriction is known to extend lifespan and improve healthspan in most model organisms, understanding the cellular response to nutrient starvation is of utmost importance. To achieve this, they will use a new technique developed by the Straussman group, which allows them to trace the activity of multiple signaling pathways at single cell resolution, over time and in a high-throughput manner.

The Minna-James-Heineman Foundation

The Minna-James-Heineman Foundation was originally established in 1928 by Dannie and Hettie Heineman. At the time, the sole purpose of the Foundation was to provide housing and care for elderly Jewish ladies in Hanover. After the onset of the Hitler regime in 1933, the building was taken over by the government and the ladies expelled. In 1951 the foundation was re-established and Dannie Heineman’s keen interest in natural sciences became a cornerstone of the Foundation. Today the Foundation dedicates a large portion of its funds in the areas of science and medicine, promoting cooperation between scientists from the Max Planck Society in Germany, the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, and the Heineman Medical Research Center in the United States.

Learn more about the research group Demetriades.

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