Award Ceremony

The Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award

ERA-Net NEURON announced the winner of the “Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award“ (EPNA) for young scientists for the year 2011. The award ceremony was organized as a specific session in the 8th FENS FORUM of Neuroscience in Barcelona, July 18th 2012.

The EPNA 2011 was awarded jointly to Dr Fanie Barnabé-Heider from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and Dr Fernando Kasanetz from the University of Bordeaux, France for outstanding European neuroscience research. As specific highlight the laureates were invited by FENS to present their results in a separate symposium.

The Award Ceremony was opened by Dr. Marlies Dorlöchter, the coordinator of ERA-NET NEURON. She presented an overview of the network activities and opportunities for young researchers to apply for research funding within the annual joint transnational calls. Dr Erkki Raulo, responsible for the management of the award within ERA-NET NEURON presented the “Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award” as a continuous highlight to honor outstanding research achievements by younger generation scientists. Dr. Jean-Pierre Hornung, Chair of the NENS Committee of Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) acted as a co-chair of the ceremony introducing the special lecturers on behalf of the forum organizers.

From left to right: Jean-Pierre Hornung, Marlies Dorloechter, Fernando Kasanetz,
Fanie Barnabé-Heider, Erkki Raulo

Special Lecturers Details:

Dr. Fanie Barnabé‐Heider, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Barnabé-Heider et al.: Origin of New Glial Cells in Intact and Injured Adult Spinal Cord. Cell Stem Cell 7, 470–482
Several distinct cell types in the adult central nervous system have been suggested to act as stem or progenitor cells generating new cells under physiological or pathological conditions. We have assessed the origin of new cells in the adult mouse spinal cord by genetic fate mapping. Oligodendrocyte progenitors self-renew, give rise to new mature oligodendrocytes, and constitute the dominating proliferating cell population in the intact adult spinal cord. In contrast, astrocytes and ependymal cells, which are restricted to limited self-duplication in the intact spinal cord, generate the largest number of cells after spinal cord injury. Only ependymal cells generate progeny of multiple fates, and neural stem cell activity in the intact and injured adult spinal cord is confined to this cell population. We provide an integrated view of how several distinct cell types contribute in complementary ways to cell maintenance and the reaction to injury.


Dr. Fernando Kasanetz, Universite de Bordeaux, France,

Kasanetz et al.: Transition to Addiction Is Associated with a Persistent Impairment in Synaptic Plasticity. SCIENCE vol. 328 25
One of the major challenges in the field of drug abuse is the understanding of the biological basis of the transition to addiction in vulnerable individuals. Identifying which of the countless drug-induced neurobiological changes are specifically associated with the behavioral manifestation of addiction has proven to be extremely challenging, but the recent development of adequate animal models will allow rapid progress. By differentiating between individuals (the vast majority) maintaining control of their drug-related behaviors from those few that lose control over drug consumption, we addressed the synaptic modifications specifically associated with the transition to cocaine-addiction.

For the coordinator of the ERA-NET NEURON, Dr. Marlies Dorlöchter, ”The Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award was established in NEURON as an incentive for attracting and supporting outstanding young researchers in neuroscience. The award is a central part of NEURON visibility towards young research community in the ERA-NET NEURON partner countries and the FENS FORUM of Neurosciences is a perfect venue for this approach. We sincerely hope our collaboration with FENS will deepen with the forthcoming fora!"