Heisenberg Professorship for Biologist Thomas Greb
31 October 2016
Plant biologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Greb has received a Heisenberg Professorship at Heidelberg University. The professorship at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) will be funded for a period of five years by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is a significant honour for the highly qualified young researcher. The award enhances the research field of developmental physiology at the COS. Thomas Greb explores the regulation of growth processes on plant models.
His research analyses how environmental influences affect plant development, especially their energy and nutrient balance. "One focus is investigating what influence so-called hormonal signal chains have on intra- and intercellular networks. These signal chains are triggered by changes in sugar levels, among other things," explains Prof. Greb. In addition to the maintenance of stem cell activity, he is investigating how plants integrate the mechanical properties of tissue, such as firmness or elasticity, into the growth process.
Thomas Greb (b. 1972) studied biology at the University of Cologne and carried out his PhD research at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research. After having gained his doctorate in 2003 he pursued research at the John Innes Centre for Molecular Plant Research and Microbiology in Norwich, Great Britain, prior to joining the Gregor Mendel Institute of Molecular Plant Biology in Vienna, Austria, as a junior research group leader in 2006. Since the beginning of 2015, Thomas Greb has been head of the "Growth and Cell Fate Regulation" research group at the Centre for Organismal Studies. In October 2015 he was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant, a highly endowed grant from the European Research Council for extraordinary research talents. Beneficiary is the "PLANTSTEMS: Decoding the Lateral Expansion of Plant Stems" project.
As a Heisenberg Fellow, Thomas Greb was already conducting research at Heidelberg University from January 2015 until September 2016. Through Heisenberg Programme professorships and grants, the DFG helps outstanding young researchers prepare for leading positions in science. The Heisenberg Professorship is one of the most highly endowed funding instruments for postdoctoral researchers in Germany.