The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG) together with the German National Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina organized the second Leopoldina-Leibniz Lecture in India on the topic “Sensitive Phases in Human Brain Development” by Professor Brigitte Röder, Leibniz awardee from 2014 and Professor for Biological Psychology and Neuropsychology in Hamburg. Prof. Röder shared her insights into early brain development related to blindness and potential reorganization after reacquired eyesight. The lecture was hosted in collaboration with L.V. Prasad Eye Institute and the Goethe-Zentrum in Hyderabad on 3rd February 2016. More than 60 interested professors, junior researchers and students attended the lecture and discussed with Prof. Röder their current research ideas.
The lecture was the last leg of a successful two day Symposium “Brain and Eye” organized by the Leopoldina and the Indian National Science Academy INSA on the 1st and 2nd of February in Hyderabad. During the symposium, Dr. Jörg Schneider, Head of International Affairs, DFG Bonn and Prof. Dr. Jörg Hacker, President of the German Academy of Sciences, Leopoldina introduced and narrated the activities of DFG and the Leopoldina respectively.
Professor Röder received the Leibniz award in 2014 for her accomplishments in Neurobiology. Her research interests comprise multisensory processes and age-dependent neuroplasticity. She attempts to answer questions such as: How and to what extent can the brain adapt to age-related changes or sensory deprivation in the case of blindness and deafness? Is it possible to “train” the adaptability of the brain? How are functionally specialized brain systems developed and maintained?
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the most important research award in Germany. The Leibniz Programme, with a maximum of €2.5million per award, aims to improve working conditions of outstanding researchers, expand their research opportunities and help the prizewinners to employ particular qualified early career researchers.
DFG awards the Leibniz prize every year to outstanding scientists, working in Germany, for their achievements in their respective fields of research. The DFG organizes the Leibniz lecture series delivered by these awardees, who also act as German research ambassadors, at locations all over the world.