Value through Innovation10 February 2016
16 July 2012

Ilka Diester wins Boehringer Ingelheim’s FENS Award 2012 for Exceptional Research in Neuroscience

Ingelheim, Germany/Barcelona, Spain, 16 July 2012 – This year's Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Award was granted to Ilka Diester from Stanford University Department of Bioengineering, Stanford, USA at the 8th FENS Forum of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, July 14-18 in Barcelona. The biannual Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award is endowed with 25 000 Euro in recognition of outstanding research of young scientists in the field of neuroscience.

Ilka Diester's scientific interest focuses on the neural mechanisms controlling movements with a particular focus on the differences in neuronal connectivity between mammalian species. The 34-years old scientist wins the award for her outstanding work combining optogenetics – a novel method using genetic and optical techniques – with the investigation of complex behaviours in rodents and rhesus monkeys to dissect the neural circuits underlying movements.

"We are proud of having the opportunity to honour outstanding research of young scientists in Neuroscience for the sixth time now. Ilka Diester’s work could contribute to revolutionising our understanding of the complexities of the mind and propel forward medical developments. It is a pleasure to honour her with the Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award." says Professor Wolfgang Rettig, Corporate Senior Vice President Research, Boehringer Ingelheim.

Professor Bastian Hengerer, Director CNS Diseases Research, Boehringer Ingelheim, honoured Dr Diester in his speech during the lecture at the FENS meeting, 16th of July 2010 and pointed out that creativity in combination with experimental thoroughness and persistence are key to elucidate the neuronal mechanisms underlying movements.

Dr Ilka Diester

Dr Ilka Diester

"I hope that our work on optogenetic stimulation can now be
extended to understand the differences between optogenetic and electrical stimulation as well as between rodents and primates. This may lead to a reinterpretation of previously obtained results and might help design more informed optogenetic experiments in future." said Dr. Diester receiving the Award Certificate.


Boehringer Ingelheim
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 44,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

As a central element of its culture, Boehringer Ingelheim pledges to act socially responsible. Involvement in social projects, caring for employees and their families, and providing equal opportunities for all employees form the foundation of the global operations. Mutual cooperation and respect, as well as environmental protection and sustainability are intrinsic factors in all of Boehringer Ingelheim's endeavours.

In 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.2 billion euro. R&D expenditure in the business area Prescription Medicines corresponds to 23.5% of its net sales.

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