Double Honour for Prof. Karl Zilles
Prof.Karl Zilles ist one of the co-founders of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA). Source: Forschungszentrum Jülich
His explorations take him right inside the brain: for decades, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. c. Karl Zilles has been investigating the structure and function of the human control centre. The neuroscientist is mapping the cerebral cortex, amongst other areas, and generating a three-dimensional brain atlas on the basis of these data. Furthermore, he is developing innovative methods for visualizing the fibre tracts in the human brain in unprecedented resolution. At the 20th Annual Meeting of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) in Hamburg in early June 2014, the JARA senior professor, who is involved in the JARA-BRAIN section at University Hospital RWTH Aachen’s Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics as well as at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine at Forschungszentrum Jülich, received the OHBM Glass Brain Award for his life’s work. In addition, the international science society elected him president for the next three years.
In his laudatory speech, Prof. Alan Evans from the Montreal Neurological Institute in Canada paid special tribute to Karl Zilles’ groundbreaking work on the expression of transmitter receptors in the human brain, which led to a new understanding of the organization of the cerebral cortex on a molecular basis. He also highlighted his cytoarchitectonic cerebral cortex mapping activities as an innovative and pioneering contribution to the analysis of structure–function relationships in the brain.
For many years, the award winner has been pursuing these activities jointly with Prof. Dr. Katrin Amunts, director at Forschungszentrum Jülich and of the C. & O. Vogt Institute of Brain Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. Together with her and Dr. Markus Axer from Forschungszentrum Jülich, Karl Zilles is also developing a new method for visualizing and analysing the fibre tracts in the human brain, which will outperform all other methods currently available in terms of spatial precision.
Science society supports interdisciplinary exchange on the brain
The international Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) has members in more than 40 countries. The science society supports an overarching understanding of the anatomical and functional organization of the brain by bringing together scientists from different disciplines, ranging from medicine to physics and neurobiology to psychology, for example at conferences and workshops.
Prof. Zilles was director of the C. & O. Vogt Institute of Brain Research at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, founding director at the Institute of Medicine at Forschungszentrum Jülich, and one of the co-founders of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA). Since 2013, he has been involved in the JARA-BRAIN section at University Hospital Aachen’s Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics and at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine of Forschungszentrum Jülich as part of a JARA senior professorship