Pioneering work on how the nervous system controls movement awarded 2022 Brain Prize

3rd Mar 2022

The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is delighted to congratulate the neuroscientists Silvia Arber (Switzerland), Ole Kiehn (Denmark) and Martyn Goulding (USA/New Zealand) who will today receive The Brain Prize, the world’s most valuable prize in neuroscience, for their pioneering work on how the nervous system controls movement.

The Brain Prize, the world’s most prestigious award for brain research, is awarded annually bThe Brain Prizey the Lundbeck Foundation and is worth approximately £1.1million. This year’s winners, an international group of three neuroscientists from Switzerland, Denmark and USA/New Zealand, have revealed the nervous system’s inner workings by mapping the neuronal cell types and circuits in the brain and spinal cord that control movement.

The Brain Prize is awarded annually by the Lundbeck Foundation and is worth DKK 10 million (approximately £1.1m, $1.5m, €1.3m). The award will be presented at a ceremony in Copenhagen on May 25, 2022 – presided over by His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Denmark.

Click here for further information this year's winners.

About the research

All our interactions with the world depend on our ability to move. Understanding how the nervous system generates movement is a fundamental goal of neuroscience and is at the heart of devising new strategies for the restoration of movement following injury or disease.

Three internationally renowned neuroscientists have transformed our understanding of the specific cell types and circuits that control movement: Silvia Arber (Switzerland), Ole Kiehn (Denmark) and Martyn Goulding (USA/New Zealand). For their ground-breaking work the Lundbeck Foundation will award them the Brain Prize, worth DKK 10 million (approximately $1.5m, €1.3m).

Theirs is not only a remarkable discovery story in fundamental neuroscience, but it also highlights the need and paves the way for cell type-specific diagnostics and interventions in disorders of movement such as ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and spinal cord injury.

About The Brain Prize

The Brain Prize is the world’s largest neuroscience research prize, and it is awarded each year by the Lundbeck Foundation. The Brain Prize recognises highly original and influential advances in any area of brain research, from basic neuroscience to applied clinical research. Recipients of The Brain Prize may be of any nationality and work in any country in the world. Since it was first awarded in 2011 The Brain Prize has been awarded to 41 scientists from 9 different countries. Read more about The Brain Prize laureates here. Brain Prize recipients are presented with their award by His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince of Denmark, at a ceremony in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

About the Lundbeck Foundation

The Lundbeck Foundation is a commercial foundation encompassing a comprehensive range of commercial and philanthropic activities – all united by its strong purpose; Bringing Discoveries to Lives. The Foundation is the long-term and engaged owner of several international healthcare companies – Lundbeck, Falck and ALK – and an active investor in business, science and people through its commercial investments in the financial markets; in biotech companies based on Danish research and through philanthropic grants to science talents and programmes in Danish universities. The Foundation’s philanthropic grants amount to more than DKK 600m annually primarily focusing on the brain – including the world’s largest personal prize awarded in neuroscience, The Brain Prize.  

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