06 May 2020

Professor Markus Heilig has been awarded the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, ECNP, award for his research into addictive disorders and other stress-related conditions.

Professor Markus HeiligProfessor Markus Heilig. Photo credit Anna Nilsen
Markus Heilig is professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN) at Linköping University. His research combines basic research into the mechanisms behind stress-related conditions, such as addiction disorders and anxiety, with clinical research into possible treatments. He is now receiving recognition for his pioneering contributions to knowledge into addiction disorders and other stress-related conditions, and how these can be treated. The ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award is awarded each year in recognition of distinguished research in applied and translational neuroscience, with an intention that basic research into biological mechanisms is to bring patient benefit in the healthcare system.Markus Heilig and Estelle Barbier at the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience, CSAN Photo credit Peter Holgersson

ECNP describes Markus Heilig as a pioneer in connecting the brain processes in addiction disorders with the discovery of novel mechanisms that may be targets for pharmaceutical interventions. One of the areas Markus Heilig has examined are the biological mechanisms that contribute to people with dependency problems choosing alcohol rather than natural rewards. He is also highly involved in questions relating to patients with psychiatric and addiction disorders, and their right to evidence-based treatment.

“Markus Heilig has shown an exceptional career-long commitment to translational neuroscience at the highest levels. His achievement spans the breadth of research from fundamental models in animals to practice in the clinic”, commented Andreas Meyer, chair of the ECNP Award Committee.

Markus Heilig will receive the prize money, EUR 10,000, in September at the ECNP annual congress, which has been described as Europe’s largest conference in neuroscience. He will present a lecture during the awards ceremony.Professor Markus Heilig och förste forskningsingenjör Leah Mayo. Bilder tagna till artikel i tidningen Forskning och utveckling.Professor Markus Heilig and Principal Research Engineer Leah Mayo. Photo credit Anna Nilsen

“I was truly moved by the citation, which emphasised not only scientific production, but also my commitment to patients and society, and my work to ensure that patients receive the treatment they need and will benefit from. It is, of course, highly gratifying to receive the award”, says Markus Heilig, director of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN) and professor of psychiatry at the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at LiU.

The press release from ECNP and more information about the award.


Translation by George Farrants

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