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EU announces Marie Curie Excellence Award winners

The European Commission announced the winners of the 2004 Marie Curie Awards at a ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, on 7 November.

Five outstanding European researchers - two Germans, two Italians and one Israeli - will be granted 50,000 euro in recognition of the scientific brea...
EU announces Marie Curie Excellence Award winners
The European Commission announced the winners of the 2004 Marie Curie Awards at a ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, on 7 November.

Five outstanding European researchers - two Germans, two Italians and one Israeli - will be granted 50,000 euro in recognition of the scientific breakthroughs they have achieved in research areas such as the creation of galaxies, the roots of human empathy, quantum physics, new catalysts and the science of materials.

'The EU has some of the best scientists in the world. We have to recognise their excellence,' said European Research Commissioner Louis Michel. 'The Marie Curie Awards help address this issue by showing how bright European researchers, who have made the most of our mobility grants by acquiring and sharing knowledge, can achieve outstanding results.'

The Awards are part of the Marie Curie programme, which supports the training and international mobility of researchers in Europe. Every year prizes are awarded to researchers who have benefited from EU support schemes in order to boost their careers by providing them with international exposure. The Marie Curie fellowships are available in all scientific disciplines and contribute to the objective of both the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and the Lisbon strategy of making the EU the most competitive knowledge-based economy by 2010.

A grand jury of six European scientists, chaired by 1999 Dutch Nobel Prize winner for Physics, Professor Gerard 't Hooft, chose the five 2004 Marie Curie winners, who are: Benedetta Ciardi and Stefano Zapperi from Italy, Christian Marc Keysers and Jens Marklof from Germany and Gadi Rothenberg from Israel.

Dr Ciardi, who is currently conducting her research at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, was rewarded for her work on the effect that the radiation of the first stars had on the different gases in the Universe and on the process of galaxy formation.

Dr Zapperi was recognised for his investigations into internal avalanches and crackling noises in different materials.

Dr Keysers, who is researching at the BCN Neuro-Imaging Centre at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands, received his award for research into the neural processes affecting how and why people empathise with each other.

Dr Marklof, a reader of mathematical physics at the University of Bristol in the UK, was rewarded for this studies in quantum physics and the localisation properties of chaotic quantum states. The results of his studies may have important applications in the design of micro-electronic devices.

Dr Rothenberg, from the University of Amsterdam, was chosen for his work on developing new catalysts using a combination of advanced computational and experimental methods. He is ultimately seeking new and environmentally friendly methods for making bulk and fine materials.

'Research offers new challenges every day and gives the opportunity to work with talented and enthusiastic people - there is no other occupation like it. I hope that the Marie Curie award will raise my profile so that I will be able to set up collaborative programmes to encourage young scientists to engage in interdisciplinary research,' said Dr Rothenberg.

Source: European Commission

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  • Germany, Israel, Italy
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