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.

Professor Gero Miesenböck, the Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, is one of four scientists to receive the 2019 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for his pioneering work in the field of optogenetics. Optogenetics uses light and genetic modification to control the activity of cells in the brain, allowing researchers to precision-target neurons in the brain and study how the activity of these cells contributes to simple and complex behaviors. Professor Miesenböck played a crucial role in the field, being the first to demonstrate optogenetic control of neural activity and animal behaviour. His subsequent discoveries on the neural basis of reward, the regulation and function of sleep, and the control of sexually dimorphic behaviour proved the utility of optogenetics for neurobiological research.

On receiving the award, Professor Gero Miesenböck said: “I am delighted to be in such good company, and I’m not talking just about my co-laureates. Many of my scientific heroes are among the previous recipients of the Warren Alpert Prize.”

Professor Gero Miesenböck was honoured alongside Edward Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT, Karl Deisseroth, the D.H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at Stanford University and Peter Hegemann, the Hertie professor of Neuroscience at Humboldt University of Berlin.

The Warren Alpert Foundation, in association with Harvard Medical School, honours scientists whose work has improved the understanding, prevention, treatment or cure of human disease.

The honourees will share a $500,000 prize and will be recognised at a daylong symposium on 3 October at Harvard Medical School.

Read more (CNCB wesbite)

Read more (Warren Alpert Foundation Prize website)

Similar stories

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.

A clue to how a memory-enhancing pill might work

CNCB Publication Research

Hundreds of dietary supplements have been reported to improve cognitive and emotional function in humans, but few have scientific foundation. A new study from the Waddell group provides fresh insight into how dietary Magnesium supplementation can influence memory performance.

Two major BHF awards to Neil Herring pave the way to new treatments for heart attack patients

Awards and Honours Cardiac Theme Herring Group News

Associate Professor Neil Herring has been awarded a Senior Clinical Research Fellowship and a Project grant from the British Heart Foundation to further critical research into the mechanisms behind heart attacks and heart failure and potential drugs to combat them. Given the 50% reduction in research investment this year from the BHF due to the impact of COVID-19, Prof Herring is to be congratulated on these awards.

Pawel Swietach becomes Professor Pawel Swietach

Awards and Honours Head of Department's News

Congratulations are in order to Pawel Swietach on his conferral of the title of full Professor. Research in the Swietach Lab is driven by an interest in how biological processes are affected by chemical acidity.