•  Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Caire, Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau, Brain City Berlin

    7 research awards for Berlin scientists

Several researchers in Brain City Berlin have recently received top-class prize grants. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prizes were awarded to Prof. Dr Giuseppe Caire (TU Berlin) and Prof. Dr Steffen Mau (HU Berlin). 5 ERC Consolidator Grants went to: Dr Mina Gouti (Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine), Prof. Dr Ignacio Farías Hurtado and Prof. Dr Tobias Kümmerle (both HU Berlin), Dr Jochen Mikosch (Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy) and Dr Bernhard Spitzer (Max Planck Institute for Human Development).

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the most important research prize grant in Germany. As the German Research Foundation (DFG) announced last week, this year’s prizes, each worth €2.5 million, went to two Berlin scientists: telecommunications expert Prof. Dr Giuseppe Caire of the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) and the sociologist Prof. Dr Steffen Mau of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU Berlin). 

Leibniz Prizes for Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Caire and Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau

  • Prof. Dr Giuseppe Caire was honoured for his groundbreaking work in coded modulation which is used in modern wireless communications. “Giuseppe Caire receives the Leibniz Prize for creating essential foundations in information theory used in the field of wireless modern communication and information technology”, the jury stated. In 2014, Caire, now 56, moved from the University of Southern California to accept an Alexander von Humboldt professorship at TU Berlin. 
  • Prof. Dr Steffen Mau received the Leibniz Prize for his innovative sociological analyses of “the wide range of social transformations that characterise our present day”. Since 2015, the 52-year-old has been Professor of Macrosociology at HU Berlin. Before that he studied politics and social sciences at the Free University of Berlin, did his doctorate at the European University Institute in Florence, and was a professor at the University of Bremen.

The Leibniz Prize is awarded annually by the DFG to a total of ten scientists from all disciplines working in Germany. The recipients can use the prize money to fund up to seven years of work on a research project of their choosing. The Leibniz Prizes will be bestowed in an online ceremony to be held 15 March 2021.

ERC Consolidator Grants for 5 Berlin researchers

Another five honours were awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) to scientists from Berlin. The ERC Consolidator Grants, worth an average of €2 million each, are awarded as part of a Europe-wide competition to particularly innovative projects. They are considered the most important European research prize grants and are aimed at established scientists with particularly promising research projects. The grant is mostly used to finance support staff for five years. 

Berlin researchers honoured with ERC Consolidator Grants in 2020:   

  • Dr Mina Gouti Biomedical Science), Max Delbrück Centre for Molecular Medicine, Helmholtz Association of Research Centres
    Project title: “Generation of position-specific organoids to study human neuromuscular system development and disease” 
  • Prof. Dr Ignacio Farías Hurtado (Ethnologist), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    Project title: “Urban vibrations: How physical waves come to matter in contemporary urbanism” 
  • Prof. Dr Tobias Kümmerle (Biogeographer), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
    Project title: Shifting to a Land Systems Paradigm in Conservation” 
  • Dr Jochen Mikosch (Physicist), Max Born Institute for Non-Linear Optics and Short-Pulse Spectroscopy, Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
    Project title: “Time-Resolved Structural Imaging of Chemical Transition State Dynamics” 
  • Dr Bernhard Spitzer (Psychologist), Max Planck Institute for Human Development
    Project title: “The Dynamic Representational Nature of Working Memory Storage” 


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