Eric Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize for Sonja Hofer

The neuroscientist Sonja Hofer, from the Biozentrum at the University of Basel, was chosen by an international jury to receive this year’s Eric Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize. In awarding this prize, the Hertie Foundation recognizes the outstanding achievements of this young scientist and will further support her research career with a prize money totaling 75’000 Euro.

Sonja Hofer has only recently been called to the Biozentrum and is part of the Focal Area of Neurobiology since mid-2013. The biologist undertook her PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology, in Martinsried, followed by a postdoc at the University College London (UCL). In 2011, she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Career Development Fellowship, enabling her to establish an independent research group. Moreover, Hofer has received further distinctions including the Otto Hahn Medal awarded by the Max Planck Society, a Feodor-Lynen Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as well as an EMBO Fellowship.

Sonja Hofer has been awarded the Prize for her remarkable work on neuronal networks. She is investigating how neuronal networks form during development and how they change in response to new experiences and learning. Such flexible interconnections between neurons ensure that our brain can absorb and store new information and thus constantly adapt to new environmental conditions. To date, the mechanisms of learning and the building of memories are poorly understood.

The Eric Kandel Young Neuroscientists Prize stands under the patronage of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), announced by the Hertie-Foundation and the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), is awarded every second year to an outstanding young scientist in the field of neuroscience. Eric Kandel, present at the award ceremony on September 27, 2013, personally congratulated the laureate.

Further information
Prof. Dr. Sonja Hofer, University of Basel, Biozentrum, Phone: +41 61 267 17 65, Email:

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