News Release

The Lagomarsino Prize from Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia awards Iacopo Hachen

The prize was established by the IIT to honor the memory of IIT researcher Pedro Lagomarsino de Leon Roig.

Grant and Award Announcement

Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia - IIT



Iacopo Hachen, Valentina Pasquale and Tommaso Fellin at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genova.

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Credit: IIT-Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

Genoa (Italy), 6th December 2023 – Iacopo Hachen was awarded the "Pedro Lagomarsino de Leon Roig" Prize today for the best doctoral thesis in neuroscience. The prize, in its first edition, was established by the Italian Institute of Technology - IIT to honor the memory of Argentine researcher Pedro Lagomarsino de Leon Roig, brilliant scientist with a strong interest in computational neuroscience who passed away prematurely in 2021.

Researcher Iacopo Hachen received the "Pedro Lagomarsino de Leon Roig" Prize for the best doctoral thesis in neuroscience, which combines excellence in scientific results and data analysis methods with open science. The award consists of 1,500.00 euros and its awarding took place in the Auditorium of the IIT headquarters in Genoa Morego, where Iacopo Hachen presented the results of his research activity. Present at the event were Tommaso Fellin, coordinator of the research team of which Pedro Lagomarsino de Leon Roig was a member, and IIT researchers who knew Pedro and had shared the work and personal journey with him.

Pedro Lagomarsino was a strong believer in the need to conduct science in a way that is fully documented, shared, transparent and reusable by and for all.

With this prize, we want to honour the memory of Pedro and foster the values he believed in: curiosity, competency, challenge, and openness – commented Tommaso Fellin, Pedro’s former PhD mentor - the prize recognizes excellent results in neuroscience research and pays particular attention to the candidate’s interest in sharing the research output with the community. In doing so, we nurture the happy, kind, and fun attitude that characterized Pedro. We plan to establish the Lagomarsino prize as a yearly event, recognizing the importance and quality of Neuroscience research performed by young scientists”.

Iacopo Hachen, previously a PhD student in Cognitive Neuroscience at SISSA, brilliantly defended his dissertation in December 2022 under the mentorship of Professor Mathew Diamond. Currently, Iacopo is doing his postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour in Konstanz, Germany. His doctoral work used a combination of behavioural experiments, neurophysiological recordings, and computational approaches to address a long-standing question in neuroscience: how the experience of the present is affected by the recent past.

"I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Scientific Evaluation Committee of the Prize for recognizing the value of my research. This award is a great honor for me, and I want to emphasize the crucial support of my collaborators and my supervisor, Professor Mathew Diamond. I also appreciate the Committee's decision to support open science practices, which are essential for the advancement of research and public discussion of scientific results. The effective management of datasets and codes requires specific skills that are often undervalued but will be critical in the training of future PhD students" commented Iacopo Hachen.

As Pedro did, we strongly believe in the transformative potential of Open Science, to make scientific knowledge available and reusable for everyone for the benefit of science and society. We hope this Prize will inspire the next generation of scientists and contribute to realize what he cared about” said Valentina Pasquale, Pedro’s former scientific collaborator, now Open Science expert in IIT.

The establishment of the Prize is part of Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia efforts aimed at encouraging the development of an increasingly transparent, reproducible, and inclusive science.


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