Money for biofilm research

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded €2m (£1.8m) in funding to Freie Universität Berlin for its research into the formation of bacterial biofilms.

The university’s Department of Biology, Chemistry and Pharmacy will receive the five-year ERC Advanced Investigator Grant for a research project called ‘Cyclic-di-GMP: New Concepts in Second Messenger Signaling and Bacterial Biofilm Formation’ as part of a €490m funding round.

The project aims to provide comprehensive research into biofilms that cause complications in infectious diseases as a result of their resistance to antibiotics as well as the technical difficulties caused by their growth on wet surfaces.

In particular, it will focus on the molecular genetic control mechanisms and the processing of various environmental signals to understand the origin, structure and properties of biofilms of the model organism and pathogen Escherichia coli.

Leading the project, Dr Regine Hengge expects that the research will provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms in which biofilms are formed, to lead to the development of substances that can prevent biofilm formation in medical and technical areas.