Connecting European Neuroscience

ERA-NET Neuron/Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award announced

22 March, 2018 in Neuroscience News

Dr. Cristina García Cáceres, awarded with the prize, will be the ERA-NET Neuron/Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award Special Lecturer at the FENS Forum 2018. Her presentation entitled "Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability", will be held on Wednesday 11 July.

A research team headed by Dr. Cristina García Cáceres, Group Leader at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, has shown that astrocytes – previously considered to be merely ‘support cells’ – respond to the metabolism-regulating hormone insulin and control sugar transport into the brain. The paper, published in the journal ‘Cell’, has now won the Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award.

Every year, ERA-NET Neuron bestows the Excellent Paper in Neuroscience Award (EPNA) to an outstanding scientific publication from its research field. The so-called European Research Area Networks (ERA-NETs) are European Union-funded transnational projects dedicated to specific research fields. ERA-NET Neuron is one such project, which focuses on essential processes in the brain.

This year's award has gone to a paper entitled “Astrocytic Insulin Signaling Couples Brain Glucose Uptake with Nutrient Availability”, published in the prestigious journal ‘Cell’. Headed by lead author Dr. Cristina García Cáceres and study leader Prof. Dr. Matthias Tschöp, the authors showed that sugar transport from the blood into the brain is an active process. “Previously, it had been assumed that this was a purely passive process,” explains Tschöp. “Our work also showed that sugar transport into the brain is regulated by astrocytes and that these astrocytes are responsive to hormones such as insulin and leptin. Until now, it had been thought that only nerve cells were able to respond to these hormones – astrocytes were considered to be primarily support cells.”

Dr. Cristina García Cáceres


To access the full announcement, please visit the website IDO Institute for Diabetes and Obesity.

For more information about the FENS Forum 2018 programme, please click here

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