The neurobiologist Prof. SiIvia Arber is awarded the 2017 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine for furthering our understanding of how movement is controlled in mammals. The Louis-Jeantet Foundation grants the sum of CHF 700'000 for each of the two awardees, of which CHF 625'000 is for the continuation of the prize winner's research and CHF 75’000 for their personal use. The awardees are conducting fundamental biological research that is expected to be of considerable significance for medicine. In addition to Silvia Arber, the immunologist Caetano Reis e Sousa from Portugal will receive a share of the 2017 prize.
Neuronal circuits controlling movement
Silvia Arber’s laboratory is investigating how neuronal circuits control and orchestrate movement. These insights can help elucidate what happens during pathogenic processes that limit movability, such as diseases of the nervous system and injuries to the spinal cord. The work of Silvia Arber could contribute to the development of future interventions that aim to reverse or override abnormal movement patterns. Silvia Arber will use the prize money to conduct further research on how neuronal circuits regulate the diversification of motor behavioural programs.
Silvia Arber was born in 1968 in Geneva and studied biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. She graduated in 1995, with a doctorate in the laboratory of Pico Caroni at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI) in Basel. After a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Thomas Jessell at Columbia University in New York, she returned to Basel in 2000 to establish her own research group on neuronal circuits controlling motor behaviour. She holds a joint appointment as a Professor of Neurobiology at the Biozentrum and is a senior group leader at the FMI in Basel.
Silvia Arber was nominated by numerous science partners to become part of AcademiaNet. She was also elected as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) in 2005, and she is a member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Academia Europaea. Her outstanding research has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Pfizer Research Prize (1998), the National Latsis Prize (2003), the Friedrich Miescher Award (2008), and the Otto Naegeli Prize (2014).
Prize for cutting-edge research
Each year, the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine honours cutting-edge research conducted in Council of Europe member countries. One of the most prestigious awards in Europe, it fosters scientific excellence and finances the continuation of innovative research with practical significance in the treatment of diseases. Established in 1986, the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine has to date been awarded to 86 European researchers. The award ceremony will be held in Geneva on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.(© University of Basel, AcademiaNet)