Winners Brain Awards 2020 announced

On December 11, the annual Brain Award Ceremony took place online. This year, two Brain Awards, in the categories Scientific Excellence and Collaborative Excellence, were awarded to PhD students from the institute to celebrate their achievements.


PhD student Charles Cohen from the Kole group was awarded the Brain Award for Scientific Excellence for his publication “Saltatory Conduction along Myelinated Axons Involves a Periaxonal Nanocircuit” in the journal Cell.

According to the jury, “the paper changes the way we think about one the most basic aspects in neuroscience”. The jury thought that “one of the major strengths of the manuscript is the combination of highly elegant and sophisticated methods, including electrophysiology, imaging techniques, electron microscopy and computational modeling”.


The Brain Award for Collaborative Excellence 2020 was awarded to Abdel Abdelgabar, Judith Suttrup, Ritu Bhandari and Robin Broersen for their paper “Action perception recruits the cerebellum and is impaired in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia” in Brain. This was a collaborative study between the Keysers, Gazzola and De Zeeuw groups.

The jury wrote that “the collaboration was an essential part of the study and if any one of those 3 groups had been missing, the project would immediately have become impossible to do”.

“In the field of human cerebellar imaging, this was really a solid contribution and a much bigger study than most, with the patient work included the way they did here.”


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.