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Information für die Wissenschaft Nr. 37 | 3. Juli 2020
Priority Programme “Ferroptosis: from Molecular Basics to Clinical Applications” (SPP 2306)

In 2020, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme “Ferroptosis: from Molecular Basics to Clinical Applications” (SPP 2306). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invites proposals for the first three-year funding period.

Recent studies have identified metabolic networks and signalling pathways that control previously unrecognised, regulated cell death modalities. Among these is ferroptosis, a prevalent and disease-relevant form of cell death characterised by specific metabolic constraints and an iron-dependent accumulation of lipid hydroperoxides. Emerging evidence suggests that ferroptosis is an ancient form of cell death and an evolutionary conserved susceptibility to cell death caused by the incorporation of polyunsaturated fatty acids into cellular membranes. Notably, this complex cellular death pathway has been found to be dysfunctional in various pathological contexts. These findings have stimulated a growing need to understand the underlying genetic and metabolic determinants that regulate ferroptosis in order to provide new avenues for their modulation in a therapeutic context.

Therefore, the overarching goal of the Priority Programme is to offer support for highly interdisciplinary projects at the forefront of ferroptosis research with a strong mechanistic aspect and a clear focus on ferroptosis-relevant diseases. Projects within the programme will define:

  • novel pathways and metabolic networks directly regulating ferroptosis and susceptibility to lipid peroxidation
  • molecular mechanisms of ferroptosis and its (patho)physiological consequences
  • cellular states and molecular markers that determine sensitivity to ferroptosis
  • novel pharmacological targets and development of chemical tools and clinically applicable biomarkers to be exploited for ferroptosis modulation and detection

To strengthen the focus and foster a highly collaborative research environment within the programme, applications addressing the following topics are explicitly discouraged:

  • general topics in the fields of redox regulation, cell death mechanism and iron/thiol metabolism lacking a clear link to ferroptosis
  • untargeted development of small molecules modulating ferroptosis
  • solely methodology-driven projects, unless supported by a strong research hypothesis in the ferroptosis field
  • purely exploratory projects addressing the sensitivity of cells/tissues towards ferroptosis
  • analysis of collections of patient biopsies without any clear mechanistic question

Proposals must be written in English and submitted to the DFG by 28 October 2020. Please note that proposals can only be submitted via elan, the DFG’s electronic proposal processing system. To enter a new project within the existing Priority Programme, go to Proposal Submission – New Project/Draft Proposal – Priority Programmes and select “SPP 2306 – Ferroptosis” from the current list of calls.

In preparing your proposal, please review the programme guidelines (form 50.05, section B) and follow the proposal preparation instructions (form 54.01). These forms can either be downloaded from our website or accessed through the elan portal. In addition to submitting your proposal through elan, please send an electronic copy to the programme coordinator.

Applicants must be registered in elan prior to submitting a proposal to the DFG. If you have not yet registered, please note that you must do so by 14 October 2020 to submit a proposal under this call; registration requests received after this time cannot be considered. You will normally receive confirmation of your registration by the next working day. Note that you will be asked to select the appropriate Priority Programme call during both the registration and the proposal process.

Further Information

The elan system can be accessed at:

DFG forms 50.05 and 54.01 can be downloaded at:

For scientific enquiries please contact the Priority Programme coordinator:

  • Dr. Marcus Conrad,
    Helmholtz Zentrum München, GmbH,
    Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt,
    Institut für Entwicklungsgenetik,
    Ingolstätter Landstr. 1,
    85764 Neuherberg,
    phone +49 89 3187-4608,
    Link auf E-Mailmarcus.conrad@helmholtz-muenchen.de

Questions on the DFG proposal process can be directed to:

Programme contact:

Administrative contact:


This text is available at Externer Linkwww.dfg.de/foerderung/info_wissenschaft/2020/info_wissenschaft_20_37 
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