The neuroscientist Professor Erin M. Schuman has won the 2022 Women in Science Award, a shared recognition from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). Prof Schuman receives the award for her work on neuronal synapses, which EMBO in a press release calls “outstanding”, as well as her dedicated support of other female scientists throughout her scientific career.
“[It’s] a huge honor,” Prof Schuman said about the award in a statement. “This recognition is the culmination of a long scientific story that has been revealed together with the many talented scientists I have had the privilege of working with.”
Prof Schuman is a Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, where she runs a lab dedicated to understanding the biological underpinnings of how neurons process and store information. Specifically, she focusses on the mechanisms that create and destroy proteins in the neurons and their synapses – the sites where neurons connect and communicate with each other.
In addition to her research, she has a long history of championing women in science. E.g. she has worked for a doubling of the percentage goal of female directors at Max Planck (from 10% to 20%), and she was instrumental in extended tenure clocks for parents being implemented at her previous institution, Caltech. In an interview with AcademiaNet interview with AcademiaNet in 2020, she spoke passionately about the imperative to act on the injustices she has witnessed in her career.
The prize consists of €10,000 as well as a bronze statuette and a plenary lecture at the The Biochemistry Global Summit in Lisbon in July.
(© Emilie Steinmark / AcademiaNet / Spektrum.de)