The Stifterverband (Germany's donors' association for sciences and the humanities) announced last week that the €50,000 Science Award in the category "Society needs science" will go to a researcher who investigates the neurobiological mechanisms underlying depressive disorders.

Eberhard Fuchs at the German Primate Center, a Leibniz institute in Goettingen, is recognized as one of the first scientists to report that the adult primate brain is continuously producing new neurons. In collaboration with Elizabeth Gould at Princeton University and Bruce McEwen at Rockefeller University, his work on adult marmoset monkeys (Callithrix jacchus) revealed the generation of neurons in the dentate gyrus, a brain structure that is part of the hippocampus. Fuchs and his colleagues also found that a stressful social experience can interfere with the proliferation of these neurons.

More recently, Fuchs showed that tianeptine, an anti-depressant commonly used in Europe, can reverse the stress-related shrinkage...

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