Jena. The „GSCN 2017 Young Investigator Award“ of the German Stem Cell Network goes to Francesco Neri, PhD, research group leader at the Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) in Jena. He receives the award for his excellent research as a junior scientist. Neri’s research is focusing on the damages caused by aging processes in organ and tissue functions. A special interest of Neri’s research group at the FLI lies on the genetic and epigenetic factors that affect the functionality and homeostasis of adult stem cells during aging. As an example, DNA-Methylation (a stable and hereditable epigenetic modification) has been found to be related with aging-associated diseases and the emergence of cancer.

Dr. Francesco Neri was also prize-winner of last year‘s Sofja Kovalevskaja award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and has been using his prize money to build up a research group on “epigenetics of aging” at the FLI since Summer 2016. The epigeneticist from Tuscany studied molecular biology in Siena (Italy), received a PhD in biotechnology and has been involved in research in Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Turin (Italy).


Francesco Neri is one of three laureates, who will be awarded the prize at this year’s GSCN International Stem Cell Conference on September 12th, 2017, in Jena.



Dr. Evelyn Kästner
Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI)
Beutenbergstr. 11, D-07745 Jena
Tel.: 03641-656373, Fax: 03641-656351


Background information

The Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) is the first German research organization dedicated to biomedical aging research since 2004. More than 330 members from over 30 nations explore the molecular mechanisms underlying aging processes and age-associated diseases. For more information, please visit .

The Leibniz Association connects 91 independent research institutions that range in focus from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences via economics, spatial and social sciences to the humanities. Leibniz Institutes address issues of social, economic and ecological relevance. They conduct knowledge-driven and applied basic research, maintain scientific infrastructure and provide research-based services. The Leibniz Association identifies focus areas for knowledge transfer to policy-makers, academia, business and the public. Leibniz Institutes collaborate intensively with universities – in the form of “WissenschaftsCampi” (thematic partnerships between university and non-university research institutes), for example – as well as with industry and other partners at home and abroad. They are subject to an independent evaluation procedure that is unparalleled in its transparency. Due to the institutes’ importance for the country as a whole, they are funded jointly by the Federation and the Länder, employing some 18,600 individuals, including 9,500 researchers. The entire budget of all the institutes is approximately 1.7 billion EUR. See for more information.

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