The Brain Prize Awarded to Inventors of Two Photon Microscopic Technique

150415_BrainPrizeThe world’s most valuable neuroscience prize, The Brain Prize, has been awarded to Winfried Denk and Arthur Konnerth (Germany), and Karel Svoboda and David Tank (USA),  for the invention and development of two-photon microscopy, a transformative tool in brain research.
Two-photon microscopy is one of a handful of techniques which over the last 15 years have dramatically changed the way we study the brain. It combines advanced techniques from physics and biology, to allow scientists to examine the finest structures of the brain, in real time.
This revolutionary technology has led to identification of signaling pathways that control communication between nerve cells and provide the basis for memory, and it has enabled the study of nerve cell activity in those networks that controls vision, hearing and movement.
Winfried Denk was the driving force behind the invention of two-photon microscopy. With David Tank and Karel Svoboda he used the technique as an innovative tool to visualise activity at the level of the neurons’ fundamental signalling units, the “dendritic spines”. Arthur Konnerth built on this invention to simultaneously monitor the activity in thousands of synaptic connections in living animals, and Karel Svoboda went on to use it to map the changes that occur in the brain’s network when animals learn new skills.
Since its invention in 1990, two-photon microscopy has formed the basis of more than 10,000 research papers, not only in brain research but also in other areas of physiology, embryology and tissue engineering.
The four researchers will share the one million Euro prize, which will be presented at a ceremony on 7 May in Copenhagen by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. (Source: The Brain Prize

Links: The Brain Prize

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