Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you will not see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Gero Miesenböck is one of this year's recipients of the Jacob Heskel Gabbay Award in Biotechnology and Medicine.

Gabbay Award
Gabbay Award

The award, presented by the Rosenstiel Center of Brandeis University in Massachusetts, is in recognition of the recipients' ‘contributions to the discovery and applications of optogenetics’. In addition to Gero Miesenböck, Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University and Edward S. Boyden of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are honoured.

Optogenetics is the technology which allows scientists to control the brain’s activity by genetically engineering neurons to fire in response to light. Gero Miesenböck laid the foundations of the field when he reported, in 2002, that he had genetically modified nerve cells to produce light-responsive pigments. By shining light on the pigment-producing cells he caused them to become electrically active; the function of the nerve cells could thus be influenced remotely instead of via intrusive electrical connections. Miesenböck was also the first to use optogenetics to remote-control the behaviour of an animal.

Hundreds of scientists across the world now use optogenetics to manipulate brain activity in animals, exploring the neurobiology of phenomena such as decision-making and neurodegenerative diseases.

Similar stories

Gero Miesenböck to deliver The Physiological Society's Annual Review Prize Lecture

Awards and Honours CNCB

The Annual Review Prize Lecture is The Physiological Society's most prestigious lecture.

New research grant to Pawel Swietach to further understanding of propionic acidemia

Awards and Honours Cardiac Theme

A new collaborative project led by the Swietach group funded by the Propionic Acidemia Foundation will investigate the disease mechanisms and risk factors for cardiac disease caused by a severe inherited disorder.

Same genome, different worlds: How a similar brain causes sexually dimorphic behaviours

CNCB Goodwin Group News Publication Research

A new paper from the Goodwin group based in DPAG's Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour has shown how males and females are programmed differently in terms of sex.

Lukas Krone to represent Oxford at the Global Young Scientists Summit

Awards and Honours EDI News Head of Department's News Students Vyazovskiy Group News

Congratulations are in order for Dr Lukas Krone who is one of just five University of Oxford researchers selected to attend the Global Young Scientists Summit 2021.