German Federal Minister Johanna Wanka: "I wish to extend my sincere congratulations to May-Britt and Edvard Moser on winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine. The great potential that distinguishes their work in the field of brain research already became clear when they were awarded the Körber European Science Prize in September. Their research findings can help us to understand the causes of diseases such as Alzheimer and to develop treatment." The Körber Foundation fully concurs with the Minister for Education and Research.
In experiments with rats, the Norwegian researchers discovered previously unknown brain nerve cells which give the rodents precise spatial orientation. So-called grid cells, along with other orientation neurons, divide the space into an imaginary coordinate system of "lines of longitude and latitude". This information allows the brain to calculate mental maps. The two brain researchers at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim were thus able to demonstrate abstract mental performance on a cellular level for the first time. These insights could also one day help Alzheimer patients to improve their restricted sense of orientation resulting from their illness.
The Körber European Science Prize, which has been awarded for 30 years, annually honours outstanding scientists working in Europe. The prize is awarded to excellent and innovative research projects that show great potential for application and international impact. Selection committees comprising experts from all over Europe search for suitable candidates. A Trustee Committee chaired by Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, decides on the prize winner. Since 1985, the Körber Foundation has distributed a total of nearly 23 million euros to the winners of this prize.
You can find further information and photos of the prize winners here:
Körber European Science Prize
Matthias Mayer M.A.
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