Peter Seeburg Prize for Integrative Neuroscience: Professor Christian Lüscher honoured

The Peter Seeburg Prize for Integrative Neuroscience celebrates original and innovative achievements in neuroscience. Named in honour of Peter H. Seeburg, a German neuroscientist and pioneer in molecular neurobiology, the award recognises outstanding advances in the understanding of executive brain functions and cognitive processes.

The Synapsy Centre is proud to announce that one of its members, Professor Christian Lüscher, is among this year's winners. His contributions to understanding the mechanisms of the circuits involved in psychiatric illnesses and addiction have thus been rewarded. Christian Lüscher was a pioneer in the discovery of the cellular mechanisms by which drugs increase dopamine. He also demonstrated for the first time that it was possible to normalise behaviour by reversing the synaptic plasticity caused by drugs.

Professor Lüscher also developed a model of the addiction circuit, which he used to develop a brain stimulation protocol. This has been successful in treating addictive behaviour in mice, offering huge translational potential for treating disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression in humans. Using an innovative approach based on optogenetic self-stimulation of dopaminergic neurons, he has identified the synaptic changes at the origin of compulsive behaviour, providing important keys to understanding addiction research.

Professor Eric Nestler, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was also honoured for his pioneering research into the molecular, cellular and physiological changes in the brain caused by drug abuse.

The Synapsy Centre warmly congratulates Professor Christian Lüscher on this distinction, which underlines his systematic and innovative approach to unveiling the neural mechanisms of compulsion, a central symptom of several psychiatric illnesses.


31 Oct 2023