New ERC Starting Grant for Marie Standl

Helmholtz Zentrum München is awarded four ERC Starting Grants in the latest funding round of the European Research Council (ERC). All shortlisted projects submitted by early career researchers were successful, marking a novel record for the center. The winners aim to promote a healthier society and accelerate the development of personalized medicine solutions in the fields of lung, metabolism, cancer and allergies. Our working group leader Dr. Marie Standl is one of them!

© Helmholtz Zentrum München

"With this wonderful recognition, the ERC honours our outstanding early-career talents. It also validates the ambitious strategy our research center has developed: All four winning projects develop and employ next generation technologies in order to prevent, treat and cure environmentally triggered diseases", says Prof. Matthias Tschöp, CEO of Helmholtz Zentrum München. "Digital approaches ranging from deep learning to organs on a chip, reside at the heart of these projects and will accelerate the emergence of personalized medicine in a rapidly changing world.

"ERC Starting Grants aim to support early career researchers in developing their own careers and making the transition from supervised to independent and autonomous research. Applicants of any nationality must have 2-7 years of experience after completing their PhD and show a promising academic track record. Outstanding research projects are funded with a sum of up to 1.5 million euros over a maximum project period of 5 years.

About our winner and her project: Dr. Marie Standl

The prevalence of allergic diseases (such as asthma, rhinitis and atopic eczema) has risen dramatically over the past decades, and a cure is not yet available.Marie Standl aims to obtain a deeper understanding of how the interplay of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors lead to the development of allergic diseases. Her goal is to identify what differentiates adults who suffer from allergic diseases from those who do not, and understand the specific mechanisms involved. To this end, Marie Standl and her team make use of two German birth cohort studies (GINIplus and LISA), with data available from birth to young adulthood. This includes a comprehensive physical examination of participants at the age of 25 years. Through this work, Marie Standl aims to identify biomarkers that predict the development and progression of allergic diseases. Ultimately, the project intends to support effective early intervention strategies for people at risk of developing allergic diseases.

Read the ERC press release: erc.europa.eu/news/StG-recipients-2020



Dr. Marie Standl
Head of Research Group 'Allergic Disease Epidemiology', Head (ad interim) of research group 'Lung Epidemiology'
Institute of Epidemiology
Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt (GmbH)
Ingolstädter Landstr. 1
D-85764 Neuherberg
Tel. +49 89 3187 2952


As German Research Center for Environmental Health, Helmholtz Zentrum München pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes mellitus, allergies and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München has about 2,300 staff members and is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. Helmholtz Zentrum München is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 19 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members. 

The Institute of Epidemiology (EPI) assesses genetic, environmental and lifestyle risk factors which jointly determine the occurrence of major chronic diseases. The focus is on the development and progression of metabolic, respiratory and allergic diseases, as well as heart diseases and mental health. The goal is to understand the molecular underpinning of disease better and to translate this knowledge into personalized approaches of prevention as well as polices to improve health. Research builds on the unique resources of the KORA cohort, the KORA myocardial infarction registry, and the KORA aerosol measurement station. Aging-related phenotypes have been added to the KORA research portfolio within the frame of the Research Consortium KORA-Age. Moreover, the institute makes use of the birth cohorts GINI and LISA. It plays a leading role in the planning and setting up of the German National Cohort and builds the NAKO biorepository.