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University of Basel

Silvia Arber Receives Otto Naegeli Prize 2014

Neurobiologist Silvia Arber, Professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute, will be awarded the Otto Naegeli Prize 2014 by the Otto Naegeli Foundation. The Otto Naegli Prize for Medical Research is one of the most highly esteemed research awards given in Switzerland. The award ceremony will be taking place Mai 28 at the University of Basel.

05 March 2014

With the award, the foundation is honoring Arber's research on the establishment and function of neuronal circuits. “Silvia Arber's findings have significantly advanced and transformed research on neuronal circuits controlling motor behavior. In recent years, she was able to show that the motor system is comprised of functional modules at various levels, ensuring the precise interplay between neurons and muscles and thus coordinating movement. We are convinced that these discoveries will be medically relevant”, explains the Otto Naegeli Foundation their choice.

Silvia Arber, currently one of the most successful Swiss biologists, is both Professor of Neurobiology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and a research group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI). Since the start of her research career, she aims to answer fundamental questions on how neuronal circuits are established and function.

Arber studied biology at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel, and subsequently carried out her PhD thesis in Prof. Pico Caroni’s laboratory at the FMI. Sponsored by a long-term fellowship awarded by the Human Frontier Science Program, Arber then joined Prof. Thomas Jessell’s laboratory at Columbia University in New York, to investigate mechanisms of neuronal maturation in the spinal cord. In 2000, she was appointed to the University of Basel and has since been conducting research with her team at the Biozentrum and FMI.

During her career she has been distinguished with numerous important research awards, among them the Pfizer Research Prize (1998), the National Latsis Prize (2003), the Schellenberg Prize by the International Foundations for Research in Paraplegia (2005), as well as the Friedrich Miescher Prize (2008). In 2010, Arber secured one of the much sought after ERC Advanced Investigator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC).

Renowned Swiss science award

The Otto Naegeli Prize is awarded every other year to outstanding figures in the field of medical and biomedical research and endowed with CHF 200.000. It is one of the most prestigious scientific awards in Switzerland. The awardees are chosen by a scientific advisory committee made up of previous awardees as well as the president of the foundation. The Otto Naegeli Foundation initiated the prize in 1960, in memory of the internationally renowned physician and research scientist Otto Naegeli, with the goal of stimulating medical research in Switzerland.

The award ceremony of the Otto Naegeli Prize is open to the public. The ceremony takes place Wednesday, Mai 28, 2014, from 4:30 to 6.00 PM in the “Alte Aula” of University of Basel located in the Natural History Museum of Basel (Naturhistorisches Museum).


An illustration for the press release can be found on the media database.

Further information

Prof. Dr. Silvia Arber, University of Basel, Biozentrum, Klingelbergstrasse 50/70, 4056 Basel, phone: +41 61 267 20 57, email: silvia.arber@unibas.ch

Further information
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