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Winners Brain Awards 2023 announced

8 December 2023

On Friday December 8, the annual Brain Award ceremony took place. This year, two postdocs from the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience were honored in the categories of ‘Scientific Excellence’ and ‘Methodological Excellence.’

Brain Award for Scientific Excellence

Postdoctoral researcher Koen Kole receives the Brain Award for Scientific Excellence for his paper ‘Parvalbumin basket cell myelination accumulates axonal mitochondria to internodes’ published in Nature Communications.

The Jury describes this as a landmark paper – mostly for the thoroughness with which it addresses an important question: how do myelination and the distribution of mitochondria differ among various cortical cell classes? There is an oversimplified set of assumptions in the field that this paper effectively refutes.

The development of a new tool to examine mitochondria in a cell-type specific manner (via Cre-mediated recombination) is particularly valuable. The authors findings are unexpected and meaningful and will likely be impactful for pushing the field’s understanding forward.

Brain Award for Methodological Excellence

The Brain Award for methodological excellence is awarded to postdoctoral researcher Jorrit Montijn for his paper “A parameter-free statistical test for neuronal responsiveness” published in Elife.

The Jury notes that this paper introduces an innovative approach to determining the responsiveness thresholds of neurons, which is significantly different from traditional methods such as ANOVA or t-tests. The article addresses the crucial issue of setting responsiveness thresholds in neurophysiology, a tedious and often unprincipled process.

The results are highly significant in neurophysiology, offering a robust solution to the complexities of applying responsiveness thresholds.

Brain award

Since 2015, the institute has annually awarded the Brain Awards. This prize is for PhD candidates or postdocs who excel in their research. The awards were established to spotlight our researchers as an appreciation for their hard work and exceptional dedication. Prizes can be won in three categories: ‘collaborative excellence’, ‘scientific excellence’ and ‘methodological excellence’. All winners receive a statue and a cash prize.


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