Winner 2020: Markus Heilig, Sweden
|Photo credit: Anna Nilsen/Linköping University
Markus Heilig is professor of psychiatry and director of the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience at Linköping University in Sweden. Before returning to Sweden in 2015 to be the Center’s founding director, he served for more than ten years at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States, where he established and led a major NIH intramural programme in translational research.
Combining basic research on the neurobiology of stress-related disorders such as addiction and anxiety with human mechanistic and interventional studies, he has been a pioneer in connecting the brain processes and long-term neuroadaptations involved in addiction with the discovery of novel mechanisms that can be targeted for pharmacotherapies. Such innovative strategies, anchored in Heilig’s concurrent work as an active clinician and medical director, use endophenotype/biomarker-based approaches that cut across diagnostic categories, and have proven exceptionally productive.
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Markus Heilig has chosen to share the award with Leah M. Mayo, also of Linköping University, Sweden, as his junior collaborator.