ERC Starting Grant for Dr. Michael Bassler
The European Research Council (ERC) enables Dr. Michael Bassler, scientist at the Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz GmbH (IMM), to conduct research on “new detection techniques in flow cytometry”.
Since 2007 ERC awards the Starting Grants to outstanding junior scientists to support them in building up an independent research group in new research fields.
Since 2009 Dr. Michael Bassler is a scientist in the fluidics and simulation department of the IMM and focuses on the development of micro-fluidic Lab-on-a-Chip systems. The graduated physicist worked for several years in the german industrie and from 2004 to 2007 he joined the Palo Alto Research Center Inc. (PARC), a research laboratory of the Xerox Corporation in California, USA, where he entered the field of microfluids.
Dr. Michael Basslers activities funded by the ERC are focusing on flow cytometry, which is a widely deployed technique to analyze the biomedical characteristics of living cells. In particular, flow cytometry is of high relevance in the treatment of AIDS and various forms of cancer. The project “PoCyton”, which is now funded by the ERP-Starting Grant with 1.5 million Euros, will expand the range of flow cytometry in two respects: shortening the measurement time and concomitantly miniaturizing of the instrument. Two essential requirements to enable important diagnostics swiftly and directly in the course of a patient’s treatment.
“The novel, spatially enlarged detection zone is the key innovation and will deliver increased sensitivity. Essentially, this will be reached by a modulation of the fluorescence signal emitted by the cells. Complex optics as well as bulky and expensive light sources will not be necessary in future,” says the scientist. He expects that the results of his research will make flow cytometry more cost effective to enable its broad application routinely in clinical diagnostics.
Dr. Bassler will set up his new working group at IMM, which has a unique expertise in the development of micro-fluidic Lab-on-a-Chip systems. “IMM gladly provides its scientific and technical infrastructure to make happen this ambitious project in frontier research,” says Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wegner, IMMs CEO.