Prof. Peter Scheiffele awarded Robert Bing Prize

© Biozentrum

© Biozentrum

The Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences (SAMS) has awarded Prof. Peter Scheiffele from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and Prof. Denis Jabaudon of the University of Geneva with the Robert Bing Prize 2014.

Peter Scheiffele is a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Biozentrum, University of Basel and a project investigator on the autism project of Synapsy. He explores the mechanisms of formation of neuronal networks in the central nervous system, in particular the development and dissolution of neuronal connections – the synapses. Scheiffele discovered that the neuronal adhesion molecules, neuroligin and neurexin, play an important role in synapse formation. His work on the formation and dissolution of such neuronal connections contributes to the fundamental understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and provides directions for potential treatment strategies.

Scheiffele studied biochemistry at the FU Berlin and received his doctorate in 1998 at the EMBL in Heidelberg. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco. From 2001, he conducted research as an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University, New York, and was appointed in 2008 to the University of Basel. For his research, the neurobiologist has received various awards, including the "Searle Scholar Award" in 2002 and the "John Merck Scholar Award" in 2004.

The Robert Bing Prize, worth 60’000 Swiss francs, was established by the neurologist Robert Bing (1878-1956), who was appointed to full professor at the University of Basel in 1932. According to the stipulations of the founder, the prize is to be given to "scientists who have done outstanding work which has helped in the recognition, treatment and cure of neurological diseases“, to encourage their further research in this field. The prize is awarded every other year to younger researchers. This year's award ceremony will take place on 20 November 2014.