Leibniz Prize winners 2003

The grants committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) has chosen the prize winners in the 2003 DFG's Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Programme. One female and ten male scientists are to receive the accolade of the most prestigious research-funding prize in Germany. The grant of 1.55 million euros is intended for use in research projects over a period of five years, and the scientists will be able to use the funds flexibly according to their requirements.

The aim of this programme, which was set up in 1985, is to improve the working conditions of outstanding scientists, to extend their opportunities to engage in research, to relieve them of administrative tasks and to make it easier for them to take on highly qualified junior scientists. Scientists from any field may be nominated for the prize. From the many candidates put forward for the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, the DFG nomination committee primarily chose those who promised a particularly marked increase in scientific achievements as a result of additional support. This year - as in previous years - the nominees included a considerable number of younger scientists.

The total number of prizes awarded in the Leibniz Programme rises to 207 following the decisions made today. Of these, 45 represent the humanities, 57 the bio-sciences, 75 the natural sciences and 30 the engineering sciences. From the 98 nominations submitted for the 2003 prize, the following scientists have been chosen as Leibniz prize winners:

Dr. Winfried Denk (45), medical optics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Heidelberg (1.55 million euros)

The scientific career of Winfried Denk is that of a person who crosses boundaries. He started out as a physicist, but probably now counts in most people's eyes as a neurobiologist. In collaboration with W.W.Webb he worked on the pioneering development of two-photon microscopy. This method is based on using the phase coherence of laser light to

Contact: Ursula Rogmans-Beucher
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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