A pioneering medical researcher known for his leadership in founding the field of nanomedicine has been named the next president of the European Research Council.
Mauro Ferrari, previously president of the Houston Methodist Research Institute, will take up his new role from January 2020. He will succeed Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, who has held the title since 2014.
Professor Ferrari will serve an initial four-year term at the council, which distributes some of the most prestigious grants allocated under the European Commission’s research framework funding programmes. In the post, he will play a key role in the launch of Horizon Europe, which will replace the existing framework programme, Horizon 2020, from 2021.
Carlos Moedas, the European commissioner for research, science and innovation, praised Professor Ferrari’s “outstanding interdisciplinary academic career. With his understanding of the societal value of science, his strong leadership and exceptional communication skills, Professor Ferrari is the right person to take the ERC and European science to new heights,” he said.
With a background in mechanical engineering, Professor Ferrari began his academic career in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was a tenured professor, before moving into medicine at Ohio State University at the age of 43. He is now considered a global leader in the development of healthcare technology to aid drug delivery and cancer therapies.
Professor Ferrari joined the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston 2006. He served as president of the Houston Methodist Research Institute from 2010, before stepping down in March this year.
Last year he was appointed to the Pontifical Academy for Life, which advises the Catholic Church on ethical issues relating to practices such as euthanasia and abortion.