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Picture credit © Lundbeck Foundation/The Brain Prize
Two grantees of the European Research Council - Bart De Strooper from University College London and VIB/KU Leuven (Belgium) and Christian Haass from the Ludwig-Maximilians University (Germany) - won the 2018 Brain Prize. They will share the award with two other researchers: Michel Goedert and John Hardy.
The awarding body, the Lundbeck Foundation, recognised "their ground-breaking research on the genetic and molecular basis of Alzheimer’s disease, with far-reaching implications for the development of new therapeutic interventions as well as for the understanding of other neurodegenerative diseases of the brain."
Professor Bart De Strooper was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant in 2010. The grant, worth 2.5 million euro, supported a five-year research project on the role of microRNA dysregulation in Alzheimer's disease.
Professor Christian Haass was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant in 2012. The grant, worth 2.5 million euro, supported a five-year research project Identification and modulation of pathogenic Amyloid beta-peptide species.
The Brain Prize is awarded to scientists who have distinguished themselves by an outstanding contribution to neuroscience and who are still active in research. The 1 million euro prize is now in its eighth consecutive year.
About the ERC
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe.
The ERC has three core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants and Advanced Grants. The Synergy Grant scheme was re-launched in 2017. To date, the ERC has funded some 8,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers, and over 50,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. Key global research funding bodies in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil and other countries have concluded agreements to provide their researchers with opportunities to temporarily join ERC grantees' teams.
The ERC is governed by an independent body, the Scientific Council, led by the ERC President, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The ERC has an annual budget of €1.8 billion for the year 2018. The overall ERC budget from 2014 to 2020 is over €13 billion, as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, for which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas is responsible.