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Press Release No. 8 | 10 March 2006
Copernicus Award to be Conferred by the DFG for the First Time

EUR 50.000 Award for German-Polish Scientific Cooperation

The first-ever Copernicus Award, which carries with it prize money of EUR50,000, will be conferred by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Foundation for Polish Science (FNP, Fundacja na Rzecz Nauki Polskiej) in 2006. The award winners are the pharmacologists Professor Eberhard Schlicker, from the University of Bonn, and Professor Barbara Malinowska, from the University of Bialystok in Poland. The award is granted every two years to one German and one Polish researcher in recognition of their outstanding achievements in German-Polish scientific cooperation. The award winners were selected by a German-Polish award committee from 49 nominees from all disciplines. The prize will be awarded by the presidents of the DFG and the FNP, Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker and Professor Maciej Zylicz, at an award ceremony to be held at the Max Liebermann House in Berlin on 2 May 2006.

The award is named after the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). The prize money of EUR50,000 is donated by the DFG and the FNP in equal shares. This is divided evenly between the winners, who may use the prize money for any scientific purpose that is within the scope of the funding programmes of both organisations. The emphasis should, however, be on further advancing the joint promotion of young researchers. The DFG reached an agreement with the FNP last year on supporting cooperation between outstanding young researchers from all disciplines. Thus these research funding organisations made a significant step towards intensifying cooperation in research funding during 2005, a year that was dedicated to German-Polish relations.

The award winners:

Eberhard Schlicker and Barbara Malinowska are active in the fields of pharmacology and physiology. Their research focuses on the cannabinoid receptors and their effects. Cannabinoid receptors are receptors within the body in which addictive effects, but also the beneficial therapeutic effects of cannabis in any form, for example hashish, occur. This research aims to study both the neurochemical and the molecular basis of the effects of cannabinoids in the brain. This is significant for an improved understanding of disruption to the central nervous system.

Eberhard Schlicker studied medicine at the universities of Freiburg and Heidelberg. After receiving his doctorate he first worked at the universities of Heidelberg and Essen before finishing his habilitation at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in Bonn in 1986. In 1992 he was appointed to a professorship there.

Barbara Malinowska studied biology at the University of Warsaw. After receiving her doctorate at the University of Bialystok in Poland, she moved to the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Bonn in 1991, where she worked with Eberhard Schlicker. She has been head of the Department of Experimental Physiology at the University of Bialystok since 1998.

Further Information

For further information on the Copernicus Award, please contact

  • Dr. Torsten Fischer,
    Programme Officer, DFG International Affairs Division,
    Tel. +49 (0) 228/885-2372,
    e-mail: torsten.fischer@dfg.de.

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