PARIS -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The 25th annual Neuronal Plasticity Prize of the Fondation Ipsen has been awarded to three researchers for their pioneer works in the domain of “Neuropsychology of drug addiction”: Barry J. Everitt (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK), George F. Koob (The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA) and Michel Le Moal (Inserm U862, Bordeaux, France). The €60,000 prize was awarded on July 8, 2014 at the FENS (Federation of European Neuroscience Societies) in Milano by an international jury led by Professor Nikos Logothetis (Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany).
About the laureates
Barry Everitt is Professor and Director of Research, and Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust, at the University of Cambridge. He graduated from Hull University with a B.Sc. in Zoology (1967) and completed his Ph.D. in behavioural neuroendocrinology at the University of Birmingham Medical School in 1970. Following formative, postdoctoral neuroscience research at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm (1973-1974), he was appointed lecturer, then Reader in Neuroscience in the Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge. He moved to the Department of Experimental Psychology in Cambridge in 1995 and was appointed Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2008, and a Member of EMBO in 2014.
As a behavioural neuroscientist, Barry Everitt’s research has always been concerned with understanding the neural mechanisms of motivation, learning and memory, especially in the context of drug addiction. His laboratory has made fundamental discoveries on the limbic corticostriatal systems mediating pavlovian and instrumental learning and memory mechanisms that underlie the seeking and taking of addictive drugs. He also has a major interest in the molecular and systems basis of memory reconsolidation of addictive drug and fear memories and the potential of targeting maladaptive memories in the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including addiction. He has been President of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (1992-1994), the European Brain and Behaviour Society (1998-2000), and the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (2003-2005). He was Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neuroscience (1997-2008) and is a Reviewing Editor for the journal Science. He has received many awards, including the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association (2011), the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award of the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society (2011), and the FENS-EJN Award of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (2012).
George F. Koob, Ph.D. is Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health, Washington, DC. As an authority on alcoholism, drug addiction and stress, he has contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry associated with the acute reinforcing effects of alcohol and drugs of abuse and the neuroadaptations of the reward and stress circuits associated with the transition to dependence. Dr. Koob has published over 600 peers reviewed papers and several books including the Neurobiology of Addiction, a comprehensive treatise on emerging research in the field.
Michel Le Moal is Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience at the University of Bordeaux. He graduated in Medicine (M.D. in 1962), in philosophy-sociology and in natural sciences and then in neurology (1967) and psychiatry (1968). He completed a Doctorate in Science at the University of Bordeaux in 1974. In parallel with his academic life in Bordeaux, he spent some years as associate researcher or professor in Caltech (Pasadena) first, Jim Olds laboratory (1974-1976) and at the Salk Institute and Scripps Research Institute (San Diego) in Floyd Bloom and George Koob laboratories (1979-1994). In both institutions, he worked on dopamine neurons electrophysiology and then, on the roles of brain CRF and dopamine systems on behavior and drug addiction. His research interests concern behavior and adaptive processes, their biological foundations and experimental psychopathology a discipline he tried to promote. The concept of individual vulnerability to behavioral pathologies has been at the center of his working hypotheses. Michel Le Moal has been the founder and director of several research laboratories in CNRS and Inserm and finally of the Magendie Institute for Neuroscience and Biological Psychiatry in Bordeaux. He is an elected fellow of the French National Academy of Sciences
About the Neuronal Plasticity Prize
Founded in 1990, the Neuronal Plasticity Prize of La Fondation Ipsen has been awarded to renowned specialists: Albert Aguayo (Montréal, 1990), Anders Björklund (Lund, 1990), Fred Gage (La Jolla, 1990), Ursula Bellugi (La Jolla, 1991), Wolf Singer (Frankfurt, 1990), Torsten Wiesel (New York, 1991), Philippe Ascher (Paris, 1992), Kjell Fuxe (Stockholm, 1992), Terje Lomo (Oslo, 1992), Per Andersen (Oslo, 1993), Masao Ito (Wako Saitama, 1993), Constantino Sotelo (Paris, 1993), Mariano Barbacid (Princeton, 1994), Yves Barde (Planegg-Martinsried, 1994), Hans Thoenen (Planegg-Martinsried, 1994), Jacques Mehler (Paris, 1995), Brenda Milner (Montreal, 1995), Mortimer Mishkin (Bethesda, 1995), Friedrich Bonhoeffer (Tubingen, 1996), Corey Goodman (Berkeley, 1996), Marc Tessier-Lavigne (San Francisco, 1996), Antonio Damasio (Iowa City, 1997), Richard Frackowiac (London, 1997), Michael Merzenich (San Francisco, 1997), Heinrich Betz (Frankfurt, 1998), Gerald Fischbach (Boston, 1998), Uel McMahan (Stanford, 1998), Masakazu Konishi (Pasadena, 1999), Peter Marler (Davis, 1999), Fernando Nottebohm (Millbrook, 1999), Tomas Hökfelt (Stockholm, 2000), Lars Olson (Stockholm, 2000), Lars Terenius (Stockholm, 2000), Albert Galaburda (Boston, 2001), John Morton (Londres, 2001), Elisabeth Spelke (Cambridge, USA, 2001), Arturo Alvarez-Buylla (San Francisco, 2002), Ronald Mc Kay (Bethesda, 2002), Sam Weiss (Calgary, 2002), François Clarac (Marseille, 2003), Sven Grillner (Stockholm, 2003), Serge Rossignol (Montréal, 2003), James Gusella (Boston, 2004), Jean-Louis Mandel (Strasbourg, 2004), Huda Y. Zoghbi (Houston, 2004), Ann Graybiel (Cambridge, USA, 2005), Trevor Robbins (Cambridge, UK, 2005), Wolfram Schultz (Cambridge, UK, 2005, Eckhart D. Gundelfinger (Magdeburg, 2006), Mary B. Kennedy (Pasadena, 2006), Morgan Sheng (Cambridge, USA, 2006), Nikos K. Logothetis (Tübingen, 2007), Keiji Tanaka (Wako, 2007), Giacomo Rizzolati (Parma, 2007), Jean-Pierre Changeux (Paris, 2008), Peter W. Kalivas (Charleston 2008), Eric J. Nestler (Dallas, 2008), Alim-Louis Benabid (Grenoble, 2009), Apostolos P. Georgopoulos (Minneapolis, 2009) , Miguel A. L. Nicolelis (Durham, 2009), Thomas Insel (Bethesda, 2010), Bruce Mc Ewen (New York, 2010) and Donald Pfaff (New York, 2010), Helen Neville (Eugene, 2011), Isabelle Peretz (Montreal, 2011), Robert Zatorre (Montreal, 2011), Catherine Dulac (Boston, 2012), Richard G. Morris (Edinburgh, 2012), J. David Sweatt (Birmingham, 2012), Tim V.P. Bliss (London, 2013), Richard G. M. Morris (Edinburgh, 2013), Yadin Dudai (Rehovot, 2013).
The jury: Albert Aguayo (Montreal General Hospital, Montréal, Canada), Joël Bockaert (Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle, Montpellier, France), Alexis Brice (Hôpital de la Salpètrière, Paris, France), Stanislas Dehaene (Inserm U562, Orsay, France), Stephen Dunnett (Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK), Kjell Fuxe (Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden), Christine Petit (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France), Wolf Singer (Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany).
About the Fondation Ipsen
Founded in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the Fondation Ipsen is dedicated to contributing to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge. The long-standing action of the Fondation Ipsen aims to promote the interaction between researchers and clinicians, essential exchanges because of the extreme specialization of these professions. The ambition of the Fondation Ipsen is to initiate a reflection about the major scientific issues of the forthcoming years. The Fondation has developed a significant international network of scientific experts, who meet regularly at Colloques Médecine et Recherche, dedicated to five main themes: Alzheimer's disease, neuroscience, longevity, endocrinology and cancer. Furthermore, since 2007 the Fondation Ipsen has introduced several series of meetings in partnership with the Salk Institute, the Karolinska Institutet, Massachusetts General Hospital, the DMMGF Foundation, as well as with the journals Nature, Cell and Science. The Fondation Ipsen has published over one hundred books and has awarded more than 250 prizes and grants. More information can be found on the website: www.fondation-ipsen.org