Prizes and Awards: 2014

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 2014. Some of them are listed below.

Uppsala University, Sweden


ERC Advanced Grant 2011: Dissecting genotype-phenotype relationships using highthroughput genomics and carefully selected study populations (BATESON)
The Wolf Prize in Agriculture (2014) was awarded to Prof. Leif Andersson (Uppsala University, Sweden) for "providing groundbreaking contributions to animal sciences by using modern technologies of genomic research." Prof. Jorge Dubcovsky (University of California Davis, USA) was awarded the Wolf Prize this year for his contribution to plant sciences. The winners will share the $100,000 prize, which will be presented by the President of the State of Israel at the Israeli Parliament in June 2014.

Università degli Studi di Parma, Italy


ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Understanding actions and intentions of others (Cogsystems)
The Brain Prize is awarded to scientists who have made "an outstanding contribution to European neuroscience". Giacomo Rizzolatti has a multi-faceted research profile within the neurosciences. His ERC research concentrates on elucidating the architecture underpinning conscious processing, and its function, in adults, infants, patients and non-human primates.

Stanislas DEHAENE
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, France


ERC ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Converging Criteria for Consciousness: Using neuroimaging methods to characterize subliminal and conscious processing (NeuroConsc)
ERC Proof of Concept Grant 2013: Automatic detection and monitoring of consciousness (CoMonIn)

The Brain Prize is awarded to scientists who have made "an outstanding contribution to European neuroscience". Stanislas Dehaene was awarded the Brain Prize for his research into how the "human brain acquires and implements the symbolic processes that underlie language and mathematics."

Pascale Cossart
Institut Pasteur, France

2014 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award

ERC Advanced Grant 2008: Understanding the infection by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes as a way to address key issues in biology (MODELIST)
Prof. Pascale Cossart was awarded the FEBS/EMBO Women in Science award (2014) for her "outstanding contributions to the study of how bacteria infect human and other cells". Prof. Cossart's research concentrates on what makes Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen which infects cells and causes diseases such as gastroenteritis and encephalitis, so effective, and so deadly.
This award is designed to recognise women molecular biologists whose work has actively contributed not only to the advancement of science, but also to collaboration between disciplines and to supporting and mentoring younger scientists.

Sophie Martin
Université de Lausanne, Switzerland

2014 EMBO Gold Medal

ERC Starting Grant 2010: Geometric control of the cell cycle in the fission yeast (GEOMETRYCELLCYCLE)
Prof. Sophie Martin was awarded the 2014 EMBO Gold Medal for her investigations into the molecular events that define cells' development and organization. Her research concentrates on cellular polarity: specifically the role of cells' spatial arrangements in determining their division and size. Her ERC Starting Grant examines how cells' spatial organisation contributes to the cell cycle. Prof. Martin and her team use fission yeast, which forms single rod-shaped cells, as a model system.
Prof. Martin was elected as an EMBO Young Investigator in 2009. The EMBO Gold Medal, awarded annually, recognizes the work of young scientists and their contribution to the development of sciences in Europe.

International Centre for Frontier Research in Chemistry, France


ERC Advanced Grant 2008: Frontiers in Surface Plasmon Photonics - Fundamentals and Applications (PLASMONICS)
Prof. Thomas Ebbesen was awarded the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience (2014) together with Prof. Stefan W. Hell, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Germany, and Sir John B. Pendry, Imperial College London, UK. They receive the prize “for transformative contributions to the field of nano-optics that have broken long-held beliefs about the limitations of the resolution limits of optical microscopy and imaging”. The Kavli Prize is a partnership between The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation (USA) and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Awarded every second year, it consists of an award of 1 million US dollars in each of the scientific field. In addition, the laureates receive a gold medal and a scroll.

Edvard I. MOSER and May-Britt MOSER
Norges Teknisk - Naturvitenskapelige Universiteit, Norway


ERC Advanced Grant 2008: Neural circuit for space representation in the mammalian cortex (CIRCUIT) & ERC Advanced grant 2013 Cortical maps for space (GRIDCODE) and ERC Advanced Grant 2010: Neural mechanisms for memory retrieval (ENSEMBLE)
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded to Professors Edvard and May-Britt Moser and John O'Keefe for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser’s ERC research projects explore the functionality of “grid cells”, i.e. the neural cells activated during spatial navigation. These cells, co-existing with other cell types in the entorhinal cortex and connecting with “place cells” in the hippocampus, form an essential network which has been compared to an inner GPS in the brain.
ERC Press release

Fondation Jean-Jacques LAFFONT,Toulouse Sciences Economiques, France


ERC Advanced Grant 2009: Cognition and Decision-making: laws, norms and contracts (COGNITION)
The 2014 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Professor Jean Tirole for his work on examining competition, and analysing how large companies should be regulated to prevent monopoly behaviour and protect consumers. In his approach, Prof. Tirole brings together behavioural economics with disciplines such as psychology and sociology; in his ERC project he explores cognition during the decision-making process. His research looks particularly at two factors related to limited awareness – cognition costs and motivated beliefs - and how they apply to economics.
ERC Press release

Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France


ERC Starting Grant 2010: Dynamics of quasiperiodic type (QUASIPERIODIC)
A Fields medal (2014) was awarded to Dr Artur Avila (CNRS, France/IMPA, Brazil). The highest international distinctions in mathematics, the Fields Medals are awarded by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) once every four years to as many as four mathematicians under the age of 40.
Press release

University of Warwick (UK)


ERC Consolidator Grant 2013: Behaviour near criticality (CRITICAL)
A Fields medal (2014) was awarded to Prof. Martin Hairer (University of Warwick, UK). The highest international distinctions in mathematics, the Fields Medals are awarded by the International Mathematical Union (IMU) once every four years to as many as four mathematicians under the age of 40.
Press release

And also

The Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics 2014: Simon Donaldson, Advanced Grant 2009: DIFFERENTIALGEOMETR

The Breakthrough in Fundamental Physics 2014: Michael Green, Advanced Grant 2009: STRING

The Breakthrough in Life Sciences 2014: Michael N. Hall, Synergy Grant 2013, MERIC

Franqui Prize 2014: Bart Lambrecht , ERC Starting Grant 2010: ERSTRESS

Spinoza Prize 2014: Corinne Lisette Hofman, ERC Synergy Grant 2012: NEXUS1492

Médaille d'argent du CNRS 2014: Francesco d’Errico: Co-PI ERC Advanced Grant 2009: TRACSYMBOLS; Nicolas Moës, ERC Advanced Grant 2011: XLS; François Recanati, ERC Advanced Grant 2008: CCC; Pacale Senellart-Mardon ERC Starting Grant 2011: QD-CQED

Médaille de bronze du CNRS 2014: Thomas Boulin, ERC Starting Grant 2013: KELEGANS; Virginie Orgogozo, ERC Starting Grant 2013: ROBUST; Benjamin Prud'homme ERC Consolidator Grant 2013: SPOT.COM; Emmanuel Chemla ERC Starting Grant 2012: SEMEXP

Leibniz Prize 2014: Nicole Dubilier, ERC Advanced Grant 2013: BATHYBIOME; Leif Kobbelt, ERC Advanced Grant 2013: ACROSS; Laurens Molenkamp, ERC Advanced Grant 2010: 3-TOP

Wittgenstein-Preis 2014: Josef Penninger, ERC Advanced Grant 2008: COMBINE

Grand Prix Inria-Académie des sciences: Paola Goatin, ERC Starting Grant 2010: TRAM3; Nicholas Ayache, ERC Advanced Grant 2011: MEDYMA