Career News

Honorary Doctorate for Herta Flor

5. 8. 2015 | The VU University Amsterdam awards an honorary doctorate to neuropsychologist Herta Flor in recognition of her exceptional contributions to science and society. The two other recipients are the former politician Herman van Rompuy and judge Fons Orie.
Prof. Herta Flor
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Prof. Herta Flor
Herta Flor is the scientific director of the Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology Institute at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim (ZI) Germany. She is being awarded an honorary doctorate by VU University for her important scientific contributions to the field of neuropsychology. "Flor's work is having a huge impact around the theory and the treatment of chronic pain, such as lower back pain," says her honorary supervisor, Prof. Jaap van Dieën. "Her research focuses upon the role played by learning and memory processes in the brain, and the association between chronic pain and changes within the brain. This makes it important to the human movement sciences as well as neuropsychology and hence appropriate to the interdisciplinary approach to medical research adopted by VU University within the profile theme Human Health and Life Sciences."

Herta Flor studied Psychology at the University of Tübingen, where she also qualified as professor in 1990. In 1993, she accepted a C3 professorship in Clinical Psychology and Psychosomatics at the Humboldt University Berlin. In 2000, she accepted a C4 professorship in Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology at the University of Heidelberg, which was linked to the management of the Neuropsychology Institute at the ZI. Since 2005, she has been scientific director of the Neuropsychology and Clinical Psychology Institute.

Herta Flor's scientific areas of expertise are pain research, clinical psychology, psychotherapy and neuropsychology, among others. Her efforts in securing external funding are exemplified by the successful special research area 636 "Learning, Memory and Brain Plasticity: Implications for Psychopathology" at the University of Heidelberg, which is in its third and final funding stage. Her special concern has always been to use external funding to advance the careers of young scientists. During her scientific career, Prof. Flor has received numerous prizes for her research.

Herman van Rompuy is being awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a politician inspired by ethics and philosophy during a career in which, among other things, he served as the first President of the European Council and Prime Minister of Belgium.
Fons Orie is a judge with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and was formerly a justice of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. His honorary doctorate from VU University recognizes the important role he has already played in the legal field.

In their own way, each of the three recipients has demonstrated great social responsibility in a manner which embodies everything VU University stands for. VU University has awarded 72 honorary doctorates since 1930, to recipients including civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr, architect Rem Koolhaas and statesman Hendrik Colijn.
  (© ZI, Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim, AcademiaNet)

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