The Brain Prize

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The Brain Prize
Awarded forThe Brain Prize is awarded to one or more scientists who have distinguished themselves by an outstanding contribution to neuroscience and who are still active in research. The Prize is global.
Presented byA Royal Highness and the Chairman of the board
Reward(s)DKK 10 million
First awarded2011

The Brain Prize,[1] formerly known as The Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize, is an international scientific award honouring "one or more scientists who have distinguished themselves by an outstanding contribution to neuroscience and who are still active in research".[2] Founded in 2011 by the Lundbeck Foundation, the prize is associated with a DKK 10 million award to the nominees, the world’s largest brain research prize.[3][1]

Nominees can be of any nationality.[4] Prize winners are expected to interact with Danish brain researchers e.g. through lectures, master classes, seminars, exchange programmes for researchers or other activities agreed with and financially supported by the Lundbeck Foundation.[5][2]


The Brain Prize[6] was established by the Lundbeck Foundation in 2010 as a European prize and was awarded for the first time in 2011. Today the Prize is global.[4][2]

Selection committee[edit]

As of 2019, the selection committee for the prize consisted of:[7]


Year Laureates Country Citation
2011 Péter Somogyi Hungary / United Kingdom ”For their wide-ranging, technically and conceptually brilliant research on the functional organization of neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex, especially in the hippo¬campus, a region that is crucial for certain forms of memory"[8]
Tamás Freund Hungary
György Buzsáki Hungary / United States
2012 Christine Petit France "For their unique, world-leading contributions to our understanding of the genetic regulation of the development and functioning of the ear, and for elucidating the causes of many of the hundreds of inherited forms of deafness"[8]
Karen Steel United Kingdom
2013 Ernst Bamberg Germany "For their invention and refinement of optogenetics. This revolutionary technique allows genetically specified populations of neurons to be turned on or off with light, offering not only the ability to elucidate the characteristics of normal and abnormal neural circuitry but also new approaches to treatment of brain disorders"[8]
Edward Boyden United States
Karl Deisseroth United States
Peter Hegemann Germany
Gero Miesenböck Austria
Georg Nagel Germany
2014 Giacomo Rizzolatti Italy "For their pioneering research on higher brain mechanisms underpinning such complex human functions as literacy, numeracy, motivated behaviour and social cognition, and for their efforts to understand cognitive and behavioural disorders"[8]
Stanislas Dehaene France
Trevor W. Robbins United Kingdom
2015 Winfried Denk Germany "For invention, refinement and use of two-photon microscopy to provide detailed, dynamic images of activity in individual nerve cells, dendrites and synapses, thereby transforming the study of development, plasticity and functional circuitry of the brain"[8]
Arthur Konnerth Germany
Karel Svoboda United States
David W. Tank United States
2016 Timothy Bliss United Kingdom "For their ground-breaking research on the cellular and molecular basis of Long-Term Potentiation and the demonstration that this form of synaptic plasticity underpins spatial memory and learning"[8]
Graham Collingridge United Kingdom
Richard G. Morris United Kingdom
2017 Wolfram Schultz Germany "For their multidisciplinary analysis of brain mechanisms that link learning to reward, which has far-reaching implications for the understanding of human behaviour, including disorders of decision-making in conditions such as gambling, drug addiction, compulsive behaviour and schizophrenia"[8]
Peter Dayan United Kingdom
Ray Dolan Republic of Ireland
2018 Bart De Strooper Belgium "For their groundbreaking research on the genetic and molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease, with far-reaching implications for the development of new therapeutic interventions as well as for the understanding of other neurodegenerative diseases of the brain'"[8]
Michel Goedert Luxembourg
Christian Haass Germany
John Hardy United Kingdom
2019 Marie-Germaine Bousser France "for more than 30 years spent describing, understanding and diagnosing the most common inherited form of stroke, CADASIL"
Hugues Chabriat France
Anne Joutel France
Elisabeth Tournier-Lasserve France
2020 Sir Adrian Bird United Kingdom "for their fundamental and pioneering work on Rett syndrome."[8]
Huda Zoghbi Lebanon / United States
2021 Lars Edvinsson Sweden "for their groundbreaking work on the causes and treatment of migraine"
Peter Goadsby Australia / United Kingdom
Michael A. Moskowitz United States
Jes Olesen Denmark
2022 Silvia Arber Switzerland "for having revolutionized our understanding of the neuronal cell types and circuits underlying movement."[9]
Ole Kiehn Denmark
Martyn Goulding New Zealand / United States
2023 Michael E. Greenberg United States "for having revolutionized our understanding of how neurons regulate the thousands of different proteins – the building blocks of life, that are needed to support brain development, plasticity and maintenance."[10]
Christine Holt United Kingdom
Erin Schuman United States
2024 Larry Abbott United States "to have made pioneering contributions to the field of computational and theoretical neuroscience and have made seminal contributions to our understanding of the principles that govern the brain’s structure, dynamics and the emergence of cognition and behaviour."[11]
Terrence Sejnowski United States
Haim Sompolinsky Israel

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Brain Prize 2022 awarded to neuroscience pioneers who revolutionised understanding of neuronal cell types and circuits underlying movement". Federation of European Neuroscience Societies. 2022-03-04. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  2. ^ a b c "The Brain Prize | The Lundbeck Foundation". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  3. ^ "Awards for KU Leuven researchers". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  4. ^ a b The Brain Prize - Official Website
  5. ^ "Brain Prize | Texas Children's Hospital". Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  6. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - All in the Mind, The Brain Prize winners". BBC. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  7. ^ "Selection Committee". The Brain Prize. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Prize Winners 2011 - Lundbeckfonden - The Brain Prize". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  9. ^ Laureates 2022
  10. ^ Laureates 2023
  11. ^ Laureates 2024