Ingelheim/Geneva, 15 July 2008 – The 2008 Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award goes to Pascal Fries, MD, PhD, from the F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Today, at the Congress of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) taking place from 12-16 July 2008 in Geneva, on the occasion of a special lecture by the prize winner, the Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award will be presented for the fourth time. Boehringer Ingelheim donates the award endowed with 25,000 Euro to young European scientists for exceptional research in any field of the neurosciences with the intention to ultimately promote potential benefits for patients by creating value through innovation.
36 year-old Pascal Fries received the award for his pioneering scientific work on the neurobiological organisation of human perception, how perception is influenced by attention, and which neural mechanisms instantiate these functions. His theories address one of the major challenges in latest cognitive neuroscience: to link descriptions and explanations of perception, action and memory at the psychological level to descriptions and explanations at the neuronal substrate level.
"It is a great honour for me to receive this award. I deeply appreciate the recognition of our scientific progress", said Dr Fries, who has conducted research at Institutes in Frankfurt, Germany, Maryland, USA and Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
"I hope that the results of our research help to better understand how behaviour and its neuronal basis is linked”, he added.
"Fostering science and research excellence is an important value and a key element of our strategy. We therefore continue to offer the Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award - now for the fourth time - and therewith support the advancement of excellent young scientists", said Dr Manfred Haehl, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine Boehringer Ingelheim.
"We again demonstrate Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to basic research in the area of neuroscience and are glad to be able to support the discovery and explanations of basic neuroscientific principles, independent of our pharmaceutical drug discovery”, said Dr Bernd Sommer, Head of Boehringer Ingelheim’s Department of CNS Diseases Research, who presented the prize to Dr Fries.
The speech to honour Dr Fries was delivered by PD Dr Pico Caroni from the Friedrich-Miescher-Institute in Basel and member of the local organizing committee.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 135 affiliates in 47 countries and 39,800 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.
In 2007, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of 10.9 billion euro while spending one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment Prescription Medicines on research and development.