On December 13, the annual Brain Award Ceremony took place. This year, two Brain Awards, in the categories Scientific Excellence and Collaborative Excellence, were awarded to scientists of the institute to celebrate their achievements.
Brain Award for Collaborative Excellence
The Brain Award for Collaborative Excellence 2019 was awarded to Beerend Winkelman, Marcus Howlett and Maj-Britt Hölzel for their paper “Nystagmus in patients with congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) originates from synchronously firing retinal ganglion cells” in PLoS Biology. This was a collaborative study between the de Zeeuw and Kamermans groups.
The jury wrote that “this was a very interesting paper that clearly showed how these scientists crossed the barriers of a single lab to address and answer an interesting research question”.
“The work is the result of intense international collaboration between expertise in basic science and clinics. […] it also could not have happened without the perseverance, interaction between the authors of different institutes and sincere interest in trying to understand biology.”
Brain Award for Scientific Excellence
Postdocs Maria Carrillo and YingYing Han from the Social Brain Lab were awarded the Brain Award for Scientific Excellence for their publication “Emotional Mirror Neurons in the Rat’s Anterior Cingulate Cortex” in Current Biology.
The “in vivo aspect and scientific challenges to address the central question” were what made one jury member select this paper is a favorite. According to the jury, the research involved “technically challenging experiments, involving in vivo electrophysiology, behavioral testing up to multilevel data analysis”. The jury thought that the “rationale, results and message are presented clearly” and “by connecting cellular to emotional behavior it speaks to a broad audience.”
Since 2015, the institute has been awarding the Brain Awards annually. The award is for PhD students or postdocs who excel in their research. The idea behind our NIN Brain Awards, is to put the limelight on our scientists, and to reward their hard work. Prizes can be won in three categories: ‘collaborative excellence’, ‘scientific excellence’ and ‘methodological excellence’. All winners receive a statue and a cash prize.