The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships are part of the European Commission’s Horizon Europe research framework program, first announced in 2021. The program, which has a total budget of €242 million ($261 million), enables early career researchers to work on projects at a university abroad while continuing their education and improving their skills to advance their careers. The fellowship program is divided into several lines, including the “European Fellowships” and the “Global Fellowships.”
“We are very excited to share the news that Dr. Burckhardt received this highly competitive and prestigious fellowship within the European Union to conduct research with mass spectrometry in my lab,” said Eberlin, senior faculty in the Division of Surgical Oncology at Baylor and director of the Interdisciplinary Surgical Technology and Innovation Center (INSTINCT) at Baylor’s Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery. “He joined my lab in January and we had been waiting for the selection results. I couldn’t be more excited for him and thrilled that he is part of our department and will now be here as a Marie Curie Fellow.”
The Fellowships are awarded on a competitive basis – of the 8,356 applications submitted across the EU, just under 14% were approved. A nearly perfect score of 99.2 earned Burckhardt one of the coveted scholarships. The program is aimed at young scientists with a doctorate. An application is submitted jointly by the fellow and the host university.
“In my three-year Global Fellowship – two years at Baylor College of Medicine, one year at my home institution, the Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany – I plan to focus on using mass spectrometric imaging to study peptides involved in a central regulatory pathway in humans, the kallikrein-kinin system,” Burckhardt said. “As part of my TIKKS project, I will investigate the distribution of the peptides in different tissues, their metabolism and overall profile, and if it might be possible to distinguish between different diseases.”
I will study various malignant tissues, such as breast, lung and bladder, and will extend my approach to cardiovascular disease and angioedema. The combination of imaging and mass spectrometry holds the potential to better understand this molecular cascade, discover new biomarkers and identify promising drug targets for non-communicable diseases,” Burckhardt said.