Spot on for brain research: controlling nerve cells with light
100,000-euro Heinrich Wieland Prize goes to Gero Miesenböck
Mainz, Germany, November 3, 2015: Gero Miesenböck was the first to insert a light-controlled on/off switch into brain cells. His pioneering method allows scientists to switch nerve cells on and off selectively and observe how the behaviour of, for example, fruit flies or mice changes as a result. In this way, researchers can learn in a step-by-step process what behaviour the studied brain circuits control and what goes awry in disease. For his method, hailed as a “breakthrough of the decade,” Professor Gero Miesenböck of the University of Oxford will receive the 100,000-euro Heinrich Wieland Prize of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation in Munich on November 6, 2015.
New PLUS 3 fellow: Dr Alexis Maizel
The newest fellow in the PLUS 3 Programme is the biologist Dr Alexis Maizel, junior research group leader of Heidelberg University's “CellNetworks” Cluster of Excellence. Starting in January 2015, the foundation will fund his research into the principles of plasticity in the development and formation of plant cells at the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) with up to 900,000 euros over the next three years.