Monday, September 07, 2009

McGill's Brenda Milner awarded Balzan Prize

From the Gazette:
A Montreal neuropsychologist is among four winners of the 2009 Balzan Prize that were announced Monday.

Brenda Milner, professor of psychology at the Montreal Neurological Institute and professor in the department of neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University, received the prize for cognitive neurosciences.

"Her pioneering work has greatly influenced the field of cognitive neurosciences for more than half a century," said a statement from Balzan judges. It added that the 2009 award was “for her pioneering studies of the role of the hippocampus in the formation of memory and her identification of different kinds of memory systems.”

The studies will further scientific understanding of Alzheimer’s disease.

This is just the latest award for Milner, who has been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of London and the Royal Society of Canada.

In 2005, she received the Gairdner Award for medical science, and the previous year was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.

Other Balzan winners this year are Briton Terence Cave in the field of literature, Italian Paolo Rossi for history of science, and Swiss-German Michael Gretzel for the science of new materials.

Balzan prizes are awarded annually in a rotating fields of research, with two in the humanities and two in the sciences.

Winners are awarded one million Swiss francs ($1,016,000), half of which must be dedicated to research.

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