On 1 August, 47-year-old British neuroscientist Martin Meyer, from top-ranking King’s College London, will take up the position of Director of The Brain Prize – the world’s largest and most prestigious brain research prize awarded each year by the Lundbeck Foundation.
Brain research is the Lundbeck Foundation’s special focus area, and The Brain Prize is recognition of the scientists who have conducted world-class research in this field.
In addition to the honour, the prize carries a cash award of DKK 10 million.
‘In my opinion, when it comes to raising awareness of brain research, and more specifically Danish brain research, The Brain Prize is an extremely important tool. I’m looking forward to getting started in the job – and to helping develop new ways for the Lundbeck Foundation to use the prize to inspire talented young researchers to tackle the many exciting challenges posed by brain research,’ says Martin Meyer.
Martin Meyer is a biologist with 25 years’ experience in brain research.
He holds a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology and heads a neurobiology research group at King’s College London.
Martin’s group works with genetically engineered zebrafish larvae. The larvae are transparent, which is useful because this makes it easy to study the biology of the developmental processes in their brains – from first-row seats.
Martin Meyer will take up his position as Director of The Brain Prize in its anniversary year, since 2020 is the year in which the prize will be awarded for the tenth time.
And, if everything had gone according to plan, the two geneticists who are sharing this year’s prize for mapping the rare, congenital neurological developmental disorder, Rett syndrome – Professors Huda Zoghbi, USA, and Sir Adrian Bird, Scotland – would have been celebrated at a spectacular anniversary event in mid-June.
However, like many other things this year, the event had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now most likely be combined with the announcement of 2021’s prizewinners. Martin Meyer will spearhead a number of the scientific activities that are an intrinsic part of The Brain Prize programme each year.
Taking on the job of Director of The Brain Prize means that Martin and his family will soon be moving to Denmark.
His wife is Danish – Camilla Larsen holds a PhD in Neurobiology and heads a research group at King’s College London – and the couple have two children.