Adriano Aguzzi, professor and director of the Institute of Neuropathology at the University of Zurich, has been awarded the prize from the NOMIS Foundation for his research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Despite decades of intensive research and impressive advances in understanding their genetics and biochemistry, the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases remain essentially untreatable. This sobering situation begs the question whether the fundamental mechanisms of neurodegeneration have been discovered yet.
In his NOMIS-financed project, Aguzzi and his colleagues will create 3D atlases of neurodegenerative diseases. Using methods which they have developed and refined in recent years, they will locate the position of cells and molecules and represent the storage of pathological proteins in the brain. The findings should lead to increased understanding of the cell types and pathological mechanisms responsible for brain damage.
The NOMIS Distinguished Scientist and Scholar Award is presented to exceptional scientists who are exploring unconventional academic paths. The foundation rewards innovative ideas and approaches that involve interdisciplinary collaboration and apply a broad range of methods, building bridges across the boundaries of the sciences and humanities.