The EPNA 2018 was awarded to Dr. Tobias Kaufmann on the NEURON MidTerm Symposium of the Joint Transnational Call 2016, on January 22nd 2019 in Bonn, Germany. He received the award for his publication ‘Delayed stabilization and individualization in connectome development are related to psychiatric disorders’ publishes in Nature Neuroscience 2017: 20, p. 513–515.
At the MidTerm Symposium in Bonn the award ceremony was held as special lecture. The award emphasizes the importance of research into brain function and its diseases and will contribute to integrate the neuroscience research community. The award is designed as a form of support and encouragement for early-career researchers at the early stage of their career. Dr. Kaufmann is a neuroscientist at the Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research in Oslo, Norway. In his research, he investigates pathophysiological changes in brain structure and function and their genetic underpinnings in individuals with severe mental illness. With a strong background in Biology and Computer Science, he applies computational tools such as machine learning to large scale neuroimaging and genetics data to identify patterns related to brain disorders.
As he explained: ‘My work was focused on neurodevelopmental trajectories in brain connectome development in children and adolescents with first symptoms of mental illness. Our findings help to broad understanding of patterns in neurodevelopment of the brain’.
Dr. Kaufmann smiled: "I am really happy to get this award. Such support is indeed promoting a scientific career." The audience perceived his presentation of experiments and results with rapt attention and both, peer early career scientists and experienced researchers enthused the high-level lecture.
The special lecture and award ceremony was opened by Dr. Marlies Dorlöchter, the coordinator of ERA-NET NEURON with an overview of the NEURON network activities. The EPNA was introduced by Dr. Erkki Raulo, the Finnish initiator of the NEURON award program which he presented as a continuous highlight to honor outstanding research achievements by early career scientists, and introduced the award lecture. The award honors the first authorship of a researcher under 35 years of age in a high impact journal within the first five years after dissertation. Since 2009 the ERA-NET NEURON launches annual calls for the early-career scientists as supportive measure to add to the research funding activities of the network.