Prizes and Awards: 2013

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 2013. Some of them are listed below.


University of Innsbruck, Austria

WOLF PRIZE in Physics 2013 

ERC Synergy Grant 2012: Ultracold Quantum Matter (UQUAM)
The Wolf Prize in Physics 2013 was awarded to quantum physicists Peter Zoller (University of Innsbruck, Austria) and Juan Ignacio Cirac (Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, Germany). The Wolf Foundation in Israel recognised their “ground-breaking theoretical contributions to quantum-information processing, quantum optics and the physics of quantum gases”. The scientists will share the $100,000 prize (approximately €77,000), to be presented by the President of Israel at the Israeli parliament in May 2013. Professor Zoller, along with three scientist colleagues, received an ERC Synergy Grant in 2012 for €10 million to pursue joint research on ultracold quantum matter.

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

CRAFOORD PRIZE in Polyarthritis 2013 

ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Genes, environment and immunity in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (PREVENTRA)
The Crafoord Prize in astronomy, mathematics, biosciences, geosciences or polyarthritis is annually awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on a rotating basis. The theme for 2013 was polyarthritis and the award was awarded to three prominent researchers in the field: Peter K. Gregersen, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (New York, USA), ERC Advanced Grantee Lars Klareskog, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and Robert J. Winchester, Columbia University (New York, USA). The Prize acknowledges the scientists "for their discoveries concerning the role of different genetic factors and their interactions with environmental factors in the pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management of rheumatoid arthritis". Prof. Lars Klareksog was also recently awarded an ERC 'Proof of Concept' grant to develop new treatments for polyarthritis, based on his recent discoveries.

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Geneviève ALMOUZNI
Institut Curie, Paris, France

FEBS I EMBO Women in Science Award 2013 

ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Epigenetic challenges in centromere inheritance during the cell cycle (ECCENTRIC)
The FEBS I EMBO Women in Science Award is awarded annually by the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) and the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) "to highlight the major contributions made by female scientists to life sciences research". The winner of the 2013 award is ERC Advanced Grantee Prof. Geneviève Almouzni who is recognised "for her outstanding contributions to research in the area of histones and chromatin, her engagement in promoting epigenetics in Europe, and her active role in mentoring female scientists". With her ERC funding, Prof. Almouzni investigates how epigenetic mechanisms occurring at the level of the chromosomes’ centromere are inherited. 

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Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, Paris, France

Holberg Prize 2013 

ERC Advanced Grant 2010: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence (AIME)
French anthropologist Bruno Latour was awarded the 2013 Holberg Prize, which recognizes outstanding scholarly work in the fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology. The ceremony will take place in Bergen (Norway) on 5 June. The prize amount is €610,000.The jury motivates their award by stating that ‘Latour has undertaken an ambitious analysis and reinterpretation of modernity, and has challenged fundamental concepts such as the distinction between modern and pre-modern, nature and society, human and non-human. The impact of his work is evident internationally.’ Latour is currently Professor at the Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris. In 2010 he received an ERC Advanced grant for "An Inquiry into modes of existence" (AIME). This project aims to provide a more precise definition for the experiences gathered under the vague expression of “modernization” while “retaining the inheritance of the modernization project and composing it in a quite new way”. Prof. Latour’s recently published book will be accessible online to readers who will be able to comment on certain topics. The objective of the open inquiry should lead to a new definition of modernity.  

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Prof Dr. Ferenc Krausz
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

King Faisal International Prize for Science 2013 

ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Towards 4D Imaging of Fundamental Processes on the Atomic and Sub-Atomic Scale (4D IMAGING)
The King Faisal International Prize for Science 2013, devoted to Physics, was awarded to physician and ERC grantee Ferenc Kraucz and Prof. Paul B. Corkum. The jury recognised them both for their "pioneering work", which has made possible to "capture the incredibly fast motion of electrons in atoms and molecules in a 'movie' with a time resolution down to attoseconds" (an attosecond equals to 10−18 of a second). Prof. Krausz is Chair of Experimental Physics at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München and won an ERC Advanced Grant with a project aiming to develop a 4D imaging technique offering picometer resolution in space (picometer equals to one trillionth of a meter: 1x10-12) and attosecond resolution in time. Such a technique would allow researchers to observe atoms and electrons in their natural state in motion. For the first time, scientists will be able to know what is happening inside atoms and molecules, but also how these events are ordered in the fourth dimension–time  

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Dr. Thijn Brummelkamp
Cancer Institute (NKI), The Netherlands


ERC Starting Grant 2012: Identification of Host Determinants for Virus Entry using a Haploid Genetic Approach (VIRAL HOST FACTORS)
Dr Thijn Brummelkamp of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) in Amsterdam is the winner of the 2013 EMBO Gold Medal. The award acknowledges “his outstanding work to accelerate the genetic analysis of human disease”. The EMBO Gold Medal is an annual award which highlights the quality of molecular biology research being performed by young European research scientists.

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Prof Alain Aspect
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France

BALZAN PRIZE 2013 - Quantum information processing and communication 

ERC Advanced Grant 2010: Quantum Atom Optics from Entangled Pairs to Strongly Correlated Systems (QUANTATOP)
Prof. Aspect receives the prize "for his pioneering experiments which led to a striking confirmation of Quantum Mechanics as opposed to local hidden-variable theories. His work opened the way to the experimental control of entangled quantum states, the essential element of Quantum Information Processing". Four Balzan Prizes are awarded annually, two in the humanities and two in the fields of physical, mathematical and natural sciences and medicine. The prizes aim at promoting and recognising new or emerging fields of study or research. The prize winners must destine half of the amount they receive to research projects, preferably involving young scholars or scientists.

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Prof Pascale Cossart
Institut Pasteur, France

BALZAN PRIZE 2013 – Infectious diseases 

ERC Advanced Grant 2008: Understanding the infection by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes as a way to address key issues in biology (MODELIST)
Prof. Cossart receves the prize “for her seminal discoveries on the molecular biology of pathogenic bacteria and their interaction with host cells. Her research has provided very significant insights into the mechanisms underlying infectious diseases and how they might be combatted.” Four Balzan Prizes are awarded annually, two in the humanities and two in the fields of physical, mathematical and natural sciences and medicine. The prizes aim at promoting and recognising new or emerging fields of study or research. The prize winners must destine half of the amount they receive to research projects, preferably involving young scholars or scientists.

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And also:

International Vautrin-Lud Prize 2013 (Geography): Michael Batty, ERC Advanced Grant 2009: MECHANICITY
Wittgenstein-Preis 2013: Ulrike Diebold, ERC Advanced Grant 2011: OXIDESURFACES
Leibniz Prize 2013 (Germany): Erika von Mutius (Prof. von Mutius is the 1000th ERC grantee), ERC Advanced Grant 2009: HERA and Vasilis Ntziachristos ERC Advanced Grant 2008: MSOT & Proof of Concept Grant 2012: EMSOT
The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences: Hans Clevers, ERC Advanced Grant 2008: STEMCELLMARK
Young Scientific Award for Socio and Econophysics 2013: Vittoria Colizza, ERC Starting Grant 2007: EPIFOR
European Inventor Award 2013 – Research: Patrick Couvreur, ERC Advanced Grant 2009: TERNANOMED