Leibniz Prize winners 2003

obtain twice the amount of photon energy at the intersection point of two coherent beams. This enables long-wave light to be used to achieve fluorescence effects which can otherwise only be produced with far greater energy, in other words shorter-wave light. This method offers advantages which can be exploited most importantly in the investigation of biological structures. It wasn't long before Winfried Denk was applying the advantages of the method he had developed to throw light on certain mysteries in the field of biology. Before long his area of interest was concentrated on the integration powers of nerve cells. Meanwhile, Winfried Denk has miniaturised his method to such an extent that it could soon become a realistic possibility to use it with free-moving animals. Entirely new approaches are emerging here for brain research.

Winfried Denk is currently a scientific member and Director of the Biomedical Optics Department of the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg. He studied physics at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. He continued his studies at Cornell University in Ithaca, and then in 1989 he gained his doctorate in Professor W.W. Webb's laboratory. After a period of postdoctoral research in the IBM research laboratory in Rueshlikon he returned to the USA to a post at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, where he remained until he was offered a professorship at the Max Planck Society.

Prof. Dr. Hélène Esnault (49), algebraic geometry, Essen University, jointly with Prof. Dr. Eckart Viehweg (53), algebraic geometry, Essen University (1.55 million euros)

Hélène Esnault and Eckart Viehweg are the first married couple to be awarded the Leibniz Prize for scientific research carried out together. They have been working together for more than 20 years, and have produced around 25 substantial publications tog

Contact: Ursula Rogmans-Beucher
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

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