Prof. Dr. Magdalena Götz has been awarded this year's 150,000 euro science prize by the Hector Foundation for her outstanding research achievements.
In the early stages of her career, Magdalena Götz delved into the intricate process of brain formation, exploring the genesis of nerve cells and their precise connectivity. Her groundbreaking work challenged conventional wisdom by revealing that the brain's stem cells were, in fact, glial cells, traditionally considered mere support structures. This revelation, previously inconceivable, motivated Magdalena Götz to embark on a pioneering journey: stimulating glial cells in the adult brain to generate nerve cells.
Ordinarily, the formation of nerve cells ceases after birth, posing a significant challenge in scenarios such as brain injuries or neurodegenerative diseases. The inability to replace deceased nerve cells exacerbates these conditions. Magdalena Götz's innovative approach opens new avenues for addressing this critical issue, offering hope for advancements in regenerative therapies for the brain.