Three Fellows of the Academy have received the Brain Prize, awarded by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation in Denmark.
Professors Tim Bliss FMedSci, Graham Collingridge FMedSci and Richard Morris FMedSci were awarded the prize for an outstanding contribution to the understanding of how memories are formed, retained and lost. Their work focuses on the brain mechanism known as ‘Long-Term Potentiation’ (LTP) which is behind the ability of the brain of adapt to external stimuli throughout life, including its remarkable capacity to reorganise itself after damage such as a stroke, or after the loss of normal input, as in blindness.
The three neuroscientists have independently and collectively shown how the connections – the synapses - between brain cells in the hippocampus (a structure vital for the formation of new memories) can be strengthened through repeated stimulation. LTP is so-called because it can persist indefinitely. Their work has revealed some of the basic mechanisms behind the phenomenon and has shown that LTP is the basis for our ability to learn and remember.
Professors Bliss, Collingridge and Morris will share the prize of one million Euros, which will be presented to them at a ceremony on 1 July in Copenhagen by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark.
For more information, please visit the Brain Prize website.