Pierre Magistretti elected Fellow of the Accademia dei Lincei

Pierre Magistretti. Credit: Alain Herzog (EPFL)

Pierre Magistretti. Credit: Alain Herzog (EPFL)

Professor Pierre Magistretti, a neuroscientist with EPFL, has been elected Fellow of the prestigious Accademia dei Lincei.

The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei is one of the oldest and most prestigious scientific institutions in Europe. Founded in 1603, it counts among its ranks famous scientists like Galileo Galilei and has been the scientific and cultural consultant to Italy’s President of the Republic since 1992.

The Accademia’s mission is “to promote, coordinate, integrate and spread scientific knowledge in its highest expression, in the unity and universality of culture”. It is made up of its Fellows, the “Accademici”, who are categorized into two classes: Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, and Moral, Historical and Philological Sciences.

The Accademia has now announced that it has elected as Foreign Fellow Pierre Magistretti, Professor Emeritus of neuroscience with EPFL’s School of Life Sciences. Professor Magistretti joined the School’s Brain Mind Institute in 2005, and was its director until 2012. He was also the founding director of the Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience at the University of Lausanne. He is also a Distinguished Professor at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology where he was Dean of the Division Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering between 2012 and 2020.

Professor Pierre Magistretti (right) receiving the Accademia dei Lincei Membership certificate from Giorgio Parisi, President of the Accademia’s Science Section and 2021 Nobel Laureate for Physics. Credit: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

Professor Magistretti is known for his research on brain energy metabolism. His work has uncovered some of the key roles that glial cells, in particular astrocytes, play in the biological mechanisms that couple neuronal activity and energy consumption, which is important for understanding the origin of the signals detected by functional brain imaging. His research has also revealed the role of astrocytes in neuronal plasticity and neuroprotection, which is relevant in the context of Alzheimer’s disease.

Professor Magistretti has authored more than 250 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, has delivered over 70 invited lectures during the past five years, and is on Clarivate’s list of Highly Cited researchers, ranking him in the top 1% of world scientists.

“I feel very honored by this recognition and rewarded to bring my modest contribution to EPFL’s international visibility,” says Pierre Magistretti. “Given my Italian heritage this election bears a special meaning for me.”