The FENS Young Investigator Award is a biennial prize and given in recognition of outstanding scientific work in all areas of neuroscience to a researcher under 40 years of age at the time of application. It is a personal prize of GBP 7,000.
The 2012 Young Investigator Award will be presented to Oscar Marín, Professor of Developmental Neurobiology at the Neuroscience Institute, joint centre of the Spanish research Council (CSIC) and the Miguel Hernandez University (UMH). Oscar Marín is a leading researcher in the field of cortical development. He has made several seminal discoveries about the specification, migration, and functional integration of GABAergic interneurons in the neocortex during ontogeny. His research also focuses on harnessing neuronal progenitors derived from the ganglionic eminence for neuron-replacement therapies.
Oscar Marín is a Founding member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council and has contributed tremendously to the success of ERC grants, which are among the most prestigious research grants of the EU.
Oscar Marín has made important contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms controlling the development of the cerebral cortex, with a focus on cortical interneurons. In particular, work from his laboratory has contributed to elucidate some of the mechanisms underlying the generation of neuronal diversity in the cerebral cortex, as well as the migration of cortical interneurons. In addition, although his research primarily aims at understanding basic mechanisms of development, he has focused much of his work on elucidating the role of schizophrenia susceptibility genes in the formation of specific neuronal circuits in the cerebral cortex.
Oscar Marín graduated in Biological Sciences from the Universidad Complutense (Madrid, Spain) in 1993, where he also obtained his Doctoral Degree in 1997 (Extraordinary award and European mention). He subsequently joined the University of California in San Francisco as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of John L. R. Rubenstein. In 2003, he took a group leader position at the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante (Spain), a joint centre of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and the Miguel Hernández University (UMH). He is currently a CSIC Research Professor and serves in several editorial boards, including the Board of Reviewing Editors at Science. Oscar Marín was also selected as one of the 22 founding members of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (http://erc.europa.eu/), where he served until 2010. In addition to the FENS-EJN Award, he has recently received the Banco Sabadell Award for Biomedical Research (2008) and the Jaime I Research Award on Basic Science (2011).
The FENS-EJN Award is sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell (publishers of EJN). It will be presented at the 2012 FENS Forum in Barcelona (July 14-18, 2012).