European Journal of Neuroscience
© Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Edited By: Jean-Marc Fritschy and Martin Sarter
Online ISSN: 1460-9568
FENS and EJN
EJN is published on behalf of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, FENS. FENS was established in 1998 to advance research and education in the field of neurosciences in Europe. Most national European neuroscience societies and several monodisciplinary societies representing major research fields in neuroscience are members of FENS. Major activities organized by FENS include the biennial meeting (“FENS Forum”) and the Neuroscience Schools that take place across Europe (in collaboration with IBRO). Furthermore, FENS participates in the European Brain Council and employs numerous additional mechanisms to promote neuroscience research and education. FENS, EJN and Wiley-Blackwell (co-owner of EJN) collaborate to support several research awards (below) and educational activities, thereby returning proceeds generated by EJN to the neuroscience community.
FENS - EJN Best Publication Award 2013
In collaboration with FENS and Wiley-Blackwell, EJN is proud to announce that the winner of the "Best Publication Award 2013" is Dr. Lisa Schnell, researcher at the Brain Research Institute of the University and ETH of Zurich, Switzerland.
She receives this Award for her first-authored publication in EJN:
"Combined delivery of Nogo-A antibody, Neurotrophin-3 and NMDA-NR2D subunits establishes a functional detour in the hemisected spinal cord." (published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, Volume 34, Issue 8, pages 1256–1267, October 2011)
The main focus of Dr. Schnell's work is to understand the complex neuronal and molecular events that follow injury of the spinal cord. Despite early regenerative processes, functional healing of the damaged tissue does not occur. The discovery of the growth-inhibitory myelin component Nogo-A in the laboratory of Dr. Martin E. Schwab, and its subsequent neutralization with an antibody in vivo, has been a major turning point in the field of spinal cord injury. Their demonstration of long-distance regeneration of axons has had a tremendous impact on the scientific community and drew many researchers into this fascinating area. In the EJN research report that was selected as the winner of the Best Publication Award 2013, the authors have conducted anatomical tracing, electrophysiology and behavioral experiments and found that, in adult rats, the combined treatment of anti-Nogo-A antibody, neurotrophin NT-3 and NR2d subunits of NMDA receptors induced the appearance of a functional “detour” around the lesion and improved recovery of function after spinal cord injury in adult rats. This novel combination treatment holds great promise to help improve the function of the damaged spinal cord.
Dr. Schnell's research for the benefit of paraplegic patients was supported by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.
Dr. Schnell will receive this award of £3,000 at the upcoming FENS Featured Regional Meeting in Prague, September 11-14, 2013. She will give a Special Lecture at this meeting.
See also >>
FENS EJN Award 2014
The FENS EJN Award is given in recognition of outstanding scientific work in any area of neuroscience. This is a personal prize of 10,000 GBP. In 2014, the award will be presented to Alexander Borst.
How do nerve cells compute? This is the question driving Alexander Borst's research for many decades now. It is the simple but rather profound observation that on the one hand, the brain performs astonishingly complex computations that are best described in mathematical terms, and on the other hand, the brain does that with neurons where ions flow across the membrane eliciting excitatory and inhibitory potentials or spikes. How these two aspects go together, i.e. the biophysics of neural computation, is at the centre of his research interest. As an example for neural computation, Alexander Borst studies motion vision in flies, bringing together a variety of methods like computer modelling, behavioural studies, electrophysiology, calcium imaging and genetics. This work is absolutely cutting edge and world class and will on a fundamental level deepen our understanding of motion vision. His research is truly innovative and multi-disciplinary including experimental and theoretical work; he is also implementing his knowledge about fly motion vision into the development of miniature airborne vehicles (the RoboFly project). Alexander Borst’s contributions over the past ten years have made him a leading figure in fly motion vision worldwide.
Alexander Borst is director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried near Munich (Germany) and head of the department Systems and Computational Neurobiology. He was born on August 18, 1957 in Bad Neustadt/Saale, Germany, and studied biology at the University of Würzburg, where he obtained his PhD as a member of Martin Heisenberg's group. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen. Afterwards, he led an Independent Junior Research Group at the Friedrich-Miescher-Laboratory of the Max Planck Society. He was professor the University of California, Berkeley. In 2001, he was appointed director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology. He is a member of EMBO, the Leopoldina, and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences.
The FENS-EJN Award is sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell (publishers of EJN). It will be presented at the 2014 FENS Forum in Milan (July 5 9, 2014).
The 2014 FENS EJN Young Investigator Prize will be presented to Dr. Emre Yaksi, director at Neuroelectronics Research Flanders in Leuve, Belgium.
What are the fundamental principles underlying the functioning of the brain? Neuroscientists have tackled various parts of this question in isolated neurons, cell cultures and brain slices. Yet the brain is a complex system that functions as a whole. It is therefore crucial to develop novel technologies to monitor the activity, to measure the connectivity and to perturb functional elements of neural circuits, in vivo.
Throughout his career, Dr. Emre Yaksi developed and used optical, electrophysiological and genetic tools for studying neural computation in small genetically tractable animals, namely fruitfly and zebrafish. The unique combination of these novel technologies enables neuroscientists to design innovative experiments to study neural circuits, which were unthinkable only a few years ago. Together with his team, Dr. Yaksi explores the function and the architecture of neural circuits involved in one of the least studied sensory modalities; the chemical senses. The major goals of his laboratory is to investigate 1)how chemosensory information is integrated and processed to generate behavior, 2) how do the components of neural circuits interact with each other and the sensory world, 3)what functional rules govern the assembly of neural circuits in developing or adult brains. Dr. Emre Yaksi is director at NERF (Neuroelectronics Research Flanders, Leuven-Belgium), a new research institute (founded by VIB, imec, KULeuven) that is dedicated to study the function of brain circuits. He was born on March 13, 1978 in Turkey. He received his B.Sc. (2001) in Molecular Biology at Middle East Technical University, Ankara-Turkey. He obtained his PhD (2007) in the laboratory of Dr. Rainer Friedrich at Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg-Germany. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow (2007-2010) in Dr. Rachel Wilson’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School, Boston-USA. He leads his research team at NERF since December 2010 and appointed as an assistant professor at KU Leuven since October 2011.
The FENS EJN Young Investigator Prize will be presented at the 2014 FENS Forum in Milan (July 5 - 9, 2014).
The FENS-IBRO European Neuroscience School Programme
The FENS-IBRO European Neuroscience School Programme is a collaboration between FENS and IBRO . This programme, aimed to train students and young investigators throughout Europe, brings together educational activities previously sponsored by FENS through its Schools Committee and by IBRO's Regional Committees for Europe: Western Europe Regional Committee (WERC) and Central and Eastern Europe Regional Committee (CEERC).