The American scientist Amber L. Alhadeff, Ph.D., Principal Investigator at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the University of Pennsylvania, USA has won the 2021 Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology for her work on the gut-brain control of hunger circuits. Alhadeff’s research has revealed how hunger-sensitive neurons in the brain receive signals from the gastrointestinal tract, and how they influence food intake and other survival behaviors. Her work helps to answer such questions as why we behave differently when we have not eaten, how we know when to stop eating, how foods we eat influence our brain activity, and why we perceive the world differently when we are hungry or full.
“Amber Alhadeff described in a brilliant essay how neurons encoding hunger are modulated by what we eat and how they can change our behavior,” explained Dr. Peter Stern, Senior Editor at the journal Science and Chairman of the Prize Jury. “Her research aids our understanding of how hunger changes our general perception of the world, and of the mechanisms underlying neural control of food intake.”
“I am extremely honored to receive this award for my research accomplishments,” said Alhadeff. “It is a tremendous jumpstart to my independent research career and a huge motivator for my lab.”
“Eppendorf and Science have been presenting this prize together for 20 years. This is an amazing legacy,” stated Eva van Pelt, Co-CEO of Eppendorf SE. “I enjoy watching the careers of our awardees develop over time as they become true opinion leaders in their field.”