Prizes and Awards: 2012
The European Research Council (ERC) funds top researchers who engage in pioneering research, at the frontier of knowledge in their field. Congratulations to ERC grantees who received international scientific prizes and awards in 2012. Some of them are listed below.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
NOBEL PRIZE in Physics 2012
ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Exploring the Decoherence of light in cavities (DECLIC)
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded to Professors Serge Haroche (France) and David J. Wineland (United States) for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems". Prof Haroche’s ERC-funded project explores the 'decoherence' of light in cavities. It studies the process of decoherence and can thereby open the way to create, as well as to maintain access and to use pure quantum steady states. ERC Press release
University of Cambridge, UK
BALZAN PRIZE 2012
ERC Advanced Grant 2009: RNA Silencing in Regulation and Evolution (REVOLUTION)
The Balzan prize is annually awarded to four distinguished scientists. In 2012, the Balzan Prize for Epigenetics was awarded to ERC grantee Professor David Baulcombe, "for his fundamental contribution to the understanding of epigenetics and its role in cell and tissue development under normal and stressful conditions." His ERC- funded research focuses on a specific epigenetic player in plants called small RNA (sRNA), which modulates gene expression and cellular function. The project could contribute to a better understanding of epigenetics in plants with an impact on crop science through conventional breeding and genetic engineering. This research may also be relevant to living organisms beyond plants as sRNA has been identified in animals and humans.
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University of Ghent, Belgium
EMBO GOLD MEDAL 2012
ERC Starting Grant 2011: Polarity and Subcellular Dynamics in Plants (PSDP)
The EMBO Gold Medal is an annual award which highlights the quality of molecular biology research being performed by young European research scientists. Prof Friml received the medal for his work on the role of auxin, a plant hormone, in plant development. He focuses in particular on how auxin contributes to plants' ability to adapt to shifting environmental conditions. This work could be of great significance for the future of agriculture: from improving crop yields to generating plants with improved drought resistance for example. Prof Friml will receive his medal at the EMBO meeting in Nice on 23 September 2012. He will give a lecture at the same event. EMBO announcement of the award Researcher's Institutional page
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
LATSIS PRIZE 2012
ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Operator Algebras, Free Probability, and Groups (OAFPG)
The Latsis Prize is funded by the Latsis Foundation and awarded annually by the European Science Foundation "to an individual or a research group who, in the opinion of their peers, has made the greatest contribution to a particular field of European research". The theme for 2012 was “Mathematics” and the prize was awarded to an ERC Advanced grantee, Professor Uffe Haagerup "for his ground-breaking and important contributions to operator algebra, in addition to other new and challenging areas of mathematics". Prof. Haagerup’s ERC-funded project aims to solve two of the main open problems in operator algebras, namely the isomorphism of free group factors and the Connes’ embedding problem. Operator algebra also known as "Banach spaces" has considerable potential for applications in quantum field theory.
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Royal Society of Edinburgh Kelvin Prize 2012 (UK): Colin McInnes, ERC Advanced Grant 2008: VISIONSPACE
Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers 2012 (Germany): Kathrin Maedler, ERC Starting Grant 2010: SIADIA
Leibniz Prize 2012 (Germany): Michael Brecht, ERC Advanced Grant 2008: NEURO-BEHAVIOUR & Jörg Wrachtrup, ERC Advanced Grant 2010: SQUTEC
Médaille d'argent du CNRS 2012 (France): Paolo Samori, ERC Starting Grant 2012: SUPRAFUNCTION