Medal and award outline icon. 3D illustration, 3D rendering.

Medal and award outline icon. 3D illustration, 3D rendering.

Helmholtz AI associate Katrin Amunts receives German Order of Merit

Leading brain researcher Katrin Amunts was presented with the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany by North Rhine-Westphalia's Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen on 16 March recognising her outstanding contributions to the field of neuroscience.


Katrin Amunts is an internationally renowned neuroscientist, full professor and director of the C. and O. Vogt Institute of Brain Research, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, and director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1) at Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ). Since 2016, she is the Scientific Research Director of the European Flagship Human Brain Project (HBP). In 2018 and 2019 she was, together with Helmholtz AI director Fabian Theis, co-initiator of the Helmholtz AI concept. INM-1 hosts the Helmholtz AI research group Artificial Intelligence for Decoding the Human Brain Organization.

"Prof. Katrin Amunts is one of the most important scientists in the field of brain research. She has set standards and is a leader in her field. Experts from research and medicine worldwide use her findings in the field of 'brain mapping'. Her excellent commitment goes far beyond her professional obligations. She also does great things through her commitment to social issues,” said Science Minister Pfeiffer-Poensgen.

The neuroscientist has significantly shaped international research with the development of the three-dimensional Julich Brain Atlas, which forms the central piece of the Multi-Level Human Brain Atlas available on the new EBRAINS research infrastructure. EBRAINS has been created by the Human Brain Project

Katrin Amunts is also being honoured for going beyond her field of research, always focusing on the social impact of research. In doing so, she provides effective impulses for ethical reflection and concrete research policy action with a European perspective. Her impressive  science communication activities, in which she makes complex scientific and ethical topics relatable, received similar praise.

Image: Prof. Katrin Amunts (left) was honoured with the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class. Science Minister Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen (right) presented this special award in Düsseldorf. Copyright: Julia Amunts

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