DAVID TANK receives Brain Prize for advance in microscopy

PHOTO BY WINFRIED DENK

PHOTO BY WINFRIED DENK

David Tank, the Henry L. Hillman Professor in Molecular Biology and co-director of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, has been named one of four winners of the Brain Prize, an honor that recognizes scientists who have made outstanding contributions to brain research.

Tank was presented the prize by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark on May 7, 2015, in Copenhagen. He shares the 1 million euro, or roughly $1,085,000, prize with Winfried Denk of the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Munich; Arthur Konnerth of the Technical University of Munich; and Karel Svoboda of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The researchers were selected for the invention, development and application of two-photon microscopy, a technology that combines advanced techniques from physics and biology to allow scientists to examine the finest structures of the brain in real time.

“Thanks to these four scientists we’re now able to study the normal brain’s development and attempt to understand what goes wrong when we’re affected by destructive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia,” said Professor Povl Krogsgaard- Larsen, chair of the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation, which awards the prize.

–By Michael Hotchkiss

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Princeton role in federal BRAIN initiative

Princeton neuroscientists are poised to play a leading role in revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain as outlined in President Barack Obama’s BRAIN Initiative, announced in April 2013. David Tank, co-director of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) and the Henry L. Hillman Professor in Molecular Biology, was named a member of the steering committee appointed to lay out the scientific strategy for the project.

–By Catherine Zandonella