Laser Prizes

Optogenetics Pioneer Karl Deisseroth to Receive Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis

Award Ceremony on September 21, 2018

New understandings need the development of new tools. Karl Deisseroth does both: On his quest to decipher how the brain works and what malfunctions underlie mental illnesses, he finds an understanding of how neural activities express into specific behavior. And he develops the new tools that enable him and other researchers to investigate live mammalian brains in completely new manners. Optogenetics is one of the tools for neuroscience that Deisseroth and his students have progressed, developed and implemented to a new level, virtually giving birth to a new field of science defined by this tool. Optogenetics combines the findings of light-sensitive bacterial membrane proteins and protein-engineering, genetic techniques that enable targeted implantation of the protein encoding DNA into specific types of neurons and optical laser techniques for highly resolved time and spatial activation, deactivation and reading of neurons in 3D volumes of large neural networks or down to the sub-cellular level. 

For this groundbreaking work with laser in the development and implementation of optogenetics, Karl Deisseroth will receive the Berthold Leibinger Zukunftspreis 2018 on September 21, in Ditzingen, Germany. Karl Deisseroth, born in 1971, is a psychiatrist and an engineer at the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University in California, USA. 

The international prize has been awarded biennially by the private foundation Berthold Leibinger Stiftung since 2006 to a single researcher for a contribution breaking new grounds in or using laser technology. The jury of ten international, renowned scientists and industry leaders selects the prize winner from non-disclosed nominations. The prize is endowed with a prize money of 50,000 euros.

For more information on the prize, the award ceremony and the foundation:


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