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Erika von Mutius / 2022
Helmholtz Munich | Stefanie Winkler

Erika von Mutius Awarded With Advanced ERC Grant on Research in Asthma and Allergy Prevention

Environmental Health, IAP,

Erika von Mutius, Director of the Environmental Health Center, and her team receive an Advanced ERC Grant for their research on prevention strategies to curb asthma and allergies in children. ERC Advanced Grants are endowed with up to 2.5 million euros for a period of 5 years.

The European Research Council awards these grants to outstanding top researchers who distinguish themselves by the excellence and significance of their research contributions and who can demonstrate a considerable number of research results in the last 10 years. With Erika von Mutius, Helmholtz Munich researchers receive their <link en/aktuelles/latest-news/press-information-news/article/50529/index.html - extern>third Advanced ERC Grant</link> in this funding period. Overall, Helmholtz Munich has received 48 ERC grants to date, making it one of the most competitive institutions in the international landscape.

What is the research about?

Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children – at school age about every 10th child is affected in westernized countries. Likewise, allergic illnesses are very prevalent, around 30-50 % of children are affected. Unfortunately, there is neither cure nor effective prevention.

However, asthma and allergies are illnesses, which are largely environmentally determined. This is where Erika von Mutius and her team conduct research:

„In the unique farm studies, we pioneered, my team and I discovered the relevant microbiome-derived functional agents conferring protection. These epidemiological findings while being scientifically cutting edge, cannot be back translated to children and their families´ benefit. My vision is thus to move the fields of microbiome research forward towards in depth characterization of microbe-derived metabolites to better understand their associated asthma- and allergy protective properties by advancing both the experimental and the human population-based studies.”

With the interdisciplinary project APROSUS, Erika von Mutius and her colleagues from the Helmholtz Environmental Health Center, Michael Sattler, Ali Önder Yildirim and Philippe Schmidt-Kopplin will lay the ground for translation into innovative and effective prevention strategies to stop the asthma and allergy epidemic.

Read more:

Follow your gut: How farms protect from childhood asthma

About the people:
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Erika von Mutius, Professor of Pediatric Allergology, Director of Helmholtz Munich, Environmental Health Center, and Director of Institute of Asthma and Allergy Prevention (IAP)