NWO/Spinoza Prize for psychologist, immunologist, biologist and physicist

On June 12, 2006, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) announced which four researchers will receive the NWO/Spinoza Prize for 2006. The award is the biggest Dutch prize in science. Each researcher receives one-and-a-half million euros to freely devote to research of his or her choice. The researchers receive the prestigious prize for their outstanding, pioneering and inspiring scientific work.

The winners of the NWO/Spinoza Prize 2006 are:

Prof. J.M. (Jozien) Bensing, clinical psychologist at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and Utrecht University. Bensing demonstrated that the relationships between doctors and their patients can be investigated on a sound empirical basis. She also developed a research method for non-verbal communication that is now used throughout the world.

Prof. C.G. (Carl) Figdor, immunologist at the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences and the University of Twente. Figdor was one of the first in the world to apply dendritic cell therapy training the individual's immune system to attack tumour cells to cancer patients. Furthermore, he played an important role in the development of the Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences.

Prof. B.J.G. (Ben) Scheres, molecular geneticist at Utrecht University. Scheres discovered which role stem cells play in pattern formation and growth of plant roots. He successfully demonstrated that many mechanisms in plants are closely related to processes in animals.

Prof. J.J. (Jan) Zaanen, physicist at Leiden University. Zaanen made an important contribution to the understanding of the concept of high-temperature superconductivity. This is the phenomenon where the electrical resistance of some materials suddenly disappears at temperatures far above absolute zero.

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The NWO/Spinoza Prize, also viewed as the "Dutch Nobel Prize," is awarded to Dutch researcher

Contact: Kim van den Wijngaard
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

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