Every five years, the Scientific Research Fund Flanders (FWO) honors five outstanding Flemish scientists internationally recognized for their groundbreaking contributions to their field of research. This time around, two of the five prizes of EUR 100,000 were awarded to VIB scientists, namely Dirk Inzé (VIB-UGent) and Peter Carmeliet (VIB-K.U.Leuven).
The 'Science Oscar' for Lifetime Achievement
The prestigious FWO awards celebrate the scientific careers of eminent Flemish researchers. For each field an international panel of experts selects a winner from the nominees submitted by scientists from around the globe. This means that the award is also an acknowledgement of the selectee’s accomplishments by the international scientific community
Dirk Inzé awarded the Doctor A. De Leeuw-Damry-Bourlart Prize for Exact Sciences for his work on exposing the plant 'system' - a major step towards more efficient agriculture, ecology and food production.
"We have been working very hard for years with many different people to elucidate the mechanisms that control plant growth and yield,” said Dirk Inzé. “The international acknowledgment will greatly encourage everyone to continue this work and keep improving world food security,"
Peter Carmeliet awarded the Joseph Maisin Prize for fundamental biomedical sciences for his research on angiogenesis and neurogenesis, which could lead to treatments for cancer, muscular disorders, etc.
According to Peter Carmeliet, this is a very big reward, not only for myself but for the whole research group. You sense it in the people here: they are walking tall, and rightly so. I suspect that the fact that as a single research group we are working simultaneously on two scientifically significant fundamental research projects with possibly important therapeutic applications may have something to do with getting the prize. "