© European Patent Organisation
2011 All rights reserved
Dr. Christine Van Broeckhoven, from the Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (Flanders Institute of Biotechnology) in Belgium, won the award in the research category. Her pioneering method for identifying disease genes in Alzheimer's sufferers paved the way for the development of modern drugs and treatments to combat Alzheimer's disease. Each gene and protein that Broeckhoven has identified acts as potential "target" for researchers working to develop treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Broeckhoven has won many awards, including the Potamkin Prize, awarded by the American Academy of Neurology, considered the "Nobel Prize of Alzheimer's research."
The European Inventor Award is the most prestigious prize for innovation in Europe. Launched in 2006, it is presented annually by the European Patent Office, in co-operation with the European Commission and the country holding the EU Council Presidency at the time of the award ceremony, which this year is Hungary. The awards honor inventive individuals and teams whose pioneering work provides answers to the challenges of our age and thereby contribute to progress and prosperity. Nomination proposals are submitted by the public and by patent examiners at the European Patent Office and Europe's national patent offices. The winners are chosen from among the nominees by a high-profile international jury, which includes prominent personalities such as European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek.
Adapted from the European Patent Office.