Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG) Professor Gero Miesenböck has received The Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine 2020 "for the development of optogenetics, a technology that has revolutionized neuroscience."
Optogenetics is a technique that uses light to control the activity of nerve cells. It provides a direct means of probing the organisation of neural circuits and of identifying the brain processes underlying perception, action, emotion, and thought. Professor Miesenböck was the first to demonstrate optogenetic control of neural activity and animal behaviour. His foundational studies led to an explosion in optogenetic applications and technical improvements.The field has ultimately transformed neuroscientific research and opened new possibilities for the treatment of brain disorders.