Two FMI group leaders honored by scientific community
Rainer Friedrich, neurobiologist and senior group leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, has been honored by the Jean-Marie Delwart Foundation in Belgium for his high-impact work in the field of higher olfactory signal processing. The prize amounts to USD 10’000 and is awarded every other year.
Rainer Friedrich is an expert in the neuronal circuitry that mediates zebrafish olfaction. He uses the zebrafish system as a model to study the function and development of neuronal circuits under intact and pathophysiological conditions. In his laboratory he tracks neuronal activity in vivo by electrophysiological recordings, voltage-sensitive dye imaging, and 2-photon calcium imaging of activity patterns across thousands of individual neurons. Experimental results are integrated into models in order to extract principal computational properties and constraints on neuronal circuits. His recent work on the topology and dynamics of odor-evoked activity patterns at different stages of sensory processing provide insights into computations performed by the olfactory bulb.
In the summer, Mohamed Bentires-Alj was awarded the Dora-Seif-Prize from the University Hospital Basel for his outstanding research on metastatic breast cancer. Bentires-Alj focuses his research in three areas: cell fate in the normal and neoplastic breast, metastasis, and resistance to targeted therapy. His recent findings bridge signaling to epigenetics and provide interesting insights into the roles of the phosphatase SHP2 in breast tumor initiating cells, the so-called TICs.
The Dora-Seif-Prize has been installed by the Basel physician Dora Seif, who died of cancer. The prize is awarded every other year and comprises the temporary ownership of the golden Dora-Seif-Ring.