On 21 February, the Weiss Prize 2017 was awarded to the Innsbruck-based neuroscientist Kai Kummer at the Medical University of Innsbruck. Endowed by the Weiss Science Foundation, the Weiss Prize has been managed by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) since 2014. The prize money totalling almost EUR 400,000 goes to a project investigating the role of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the medial prefrontal cortex when pain becomes chronic. An important aspect of the project involves the gender-specific differences in pain perception and sensitivity. In addition to the award winner, attendees at the ceremony included Rudolf Bauer, Chairman of the Weiss Science Foundation, FWF President Klement Tockner and Christine Bandtlow, the Vice Rector for Research and International Relations of the Medical University of Innsbruck.
“On behalf of the Weiss Science Foundation I would like to express our heartfelt congratulations to Kai Kummer for the Weiss Prize 2017”, said the Foundation’s Chairman Rudolf Bauer at the award ceremony. He continued: “Every year I am delighted to see how impressively the mission of the Foundation - supporting science in the fields of meteorology and anaesthesia – is fulfilled.”
"Funding science and research through foundations is an enormously important step towards building a philanthropic culture in Austria," noted FWF President Klement Tockner in his address. “I would like to thank the Weiss Science Foundation for the trust it places in the FWF, and I wish the winner Kai Kummer outstanding success in his exciting project”, Tockner concluded.
“The Medical University of Innsbruck has several reasons to be proud of this award, which is a tribute to the importance of basic medical research and a symbol of the high quality of research at our university. Above all, I am delighted for Kai Kummer, who wrote his doctoral thesis within the context of the FWF-supported doctoral programme ‘Signal Processing in Neurons’ at the MUI under Prof. Saria and now holds a postdoc position at the Division of Physiology. It is very rewarding to see a young researcher at our university receive this renowned award and the sizeable financial support that comes with it”, stated Christine Bandtlow, Vice Rector for Research and International Relations of the Medical University of Innsbruck.
Since 2014, the Austrian Science Fund FWF has been inviting submissions for the Weiss Prize on behalf of the Gottfried and Vera Weiss Science Foundation. The Weiss Prize supports projects which alternate each year between the fields of meteorology and anaesthesia.
The Austrian Science Fund FWF
The FWF is Austria’s central institution for the funding of basic research. The Fund supports research projects of international excellence that are devoted to the generation, expansion and deepening of scientific knowledge.
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