News Release

Pioneering work in computational and theoretical neuroscience is awarded the world’s largest brain research prize

The Brain Prize 2024 worth €1.3 million is awarded to: Larry Abbott (USA), Terrence Sejnowski (USA), and Haim Sompolinsky (Israel/USA) for their Foundational work in Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience.

Grant and Award Announcement

Lundbeck Foundation

The Brain Prize medal


The Brain Prize medal is awarded to the recipients at a ceremony in Copenhagen. His royal highness, king Frederik of Denmark, attends this ceremony and awards the medals.

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Credit: The Lundbeck Foundation

The Lundbeck Foundation has announced the recipients of The Brain Prize 2024, the world’s largest award for outstanding contributions to neuroscience. This year’s award recognizes the pioneering work of three leading neuroscientists – Professor Larry Abbott at Columbia University (USA), Professor Terrence Sejnowski at the Salk Institute (USA), and Professor Haim Sompolinsky at Harvard University (USA) and the Hebrew University (Israel).

Theoretical and computational neuroscience permeates neuroscience today and is of increasingly growing importance. The winners of The Brain Prize 2024 have made pioneering contributions to these scientific areas by uncovering some of the principles that govern the brain’s structure, function, and the emergence of cognition and behaviour.

Chair of The Brain Prize Selection Committee, Professor Richard Morris, explains the reasoning behind this year’s award:

“It is inconceivable to imagine modern brain sciences without the concomitant development ofn computational and theoretical neuroscience. The three scientists have applied novel and sophisticated approaches from physics, mathematics, and statistics to study the brain. They have developed vital tools for the analysis of highly complex datasets acquired by modern day experimental neuroscientists. The three prize winners have also proposed conceptual frameworks for understanding some of the brain’s most fundamental processes such as learning, memory, perception and how the brain generates maps of the external world. They have also provided crucial new insights into what may go awry in several devastating disorders of the nervous system, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia. In addition, their scientific achievements have paved the way for the development of brain-inspired artificial intelligence, one of the emerging and transformational technologies of our time. ”

On behalf of the Lundbeck Foundation, CEO Lene Skole extends her warmest congratulations to each of the three Brain Prize recipients:

“Their pioneering research has created trailblazing knowledge and paved the way for other scientists to better understand critical brain functions, also in relation to diseases. It aligns fully with our purpose of bringing discoveries to lives. Each of their scientific endeavours began in the 70’s, and their determination, courage and persistence over decades should serve as inspiration for other scientists, and indeed be rewarded.”

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