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Grants & Prizes

The Otto Loewi Award

The Otto Loewi Award is a prestigious award for neuroscience research in Austria provided biannually by the Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA). It is named after the Austrian-American Pharmacologist and Physiologist Otto Loewi, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1936 for the discovery of chemical neurotransmission.

The aim of Otto Loewi Award is the promotion of neuroscience research in Austria by awarding this prize for outstanding scientific contributions in an active field of neuroscience. The particular intention is to honor research achieved in Austria. The awared is offered biannually.

The Otto-Loewi-Award is endowed with € 5.300,- sponsored by the Peter und Traudl Engelhorn-Stiftung for which we are tremendously thankful. 

Neuroscientists working (or having worked) in Austria who are not older than 40 years are invited to apply  (for 2025 and onwards, the cut-off date for the age requirement is the first day of the ANA conference in the Award year, paternal leave will be considered) and should be ANA members in good standing. The proposals are reviewed and decided on by a prize committee consisting of five qualified proponents chaired by the president of the ANA. The awards are presented during the biannual ANA Meetings.


Send the following documents by email to:

-Your CV (including a list of publications)

-An Endorsement letter by your P.I. and/or by a senior member of the Austrian Neuroscience Association


The award is bestowed every other year in coincidence with the ANA meeting. Please watch out for announcements or contact the secretary. 

Award committee

The price is awarded by a committee consisting of 5 persons:

  • the president of the ANA
  • a representative of the sponsor, out of its international scientific staff
  • two members of the ANA to be nominated by the ANA Executive Board
  • one foreign scientist nominated by the ANA Executive Board

The award committee may solicit reviews from experts. Decisions consider the recommendations written down in the San Francisco Declaration

Otto Loewi Awardee 2023

We proudly announce the winner of the Otto Loewi Award 2023: Noelia Urbán, outstanding Neuroscientist and Group Leader at, IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, Vienna, Austria

Find out more about her exciting research on mechanisms driving the transition of neural stem cells between active and quiescent states. 

Know more about the prestigious Otto Lewi Award, distributed by ANA and graciously supported by the Peter und Traudl Engelhorn Stiftung.

Otto Loewi Awardee 2019

The 2019 Otto Loewi Prize of the Austrian Neuroscience Association goes to Roman Romanov.

Dr. Romanov is Research Assistant at the Department of Molecular Neurosciences of the Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna.

The prize is named after the Nobel Laureate Otto Loewi, a German-born pharmacologist who was Professor in Graz until 1938, when he was forced to leave the country. The charitable Peter and Traudl Engelhorn sponsored the 2019 prize. 

Award Committee: Sigismund Huck (ANA President), Wulf Haubensak (IMP, Vienna), Thomas Klausberger (CBR, Medical University Vienna), Eric Hosy (Bordeaux Neurocampus, Université de Bordeaux, France), Michael Freissmuth (Center for Physiology and Pharmacology, Medical University Vienna).

Roman Romanov, Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna, with ANA President Sigismund Huck and Michael Freissmuth, representing the Peter and Traudl Engelhorn Stiftung.

This is how Roman Romanov describes his current research interests: I am focussing on unraveling the molecular and cellular organization of the hypothalamus, a brain region critical for the orchestration of the most fundamental physiological needs, including food intake, sleep and reproduction. Furthermore, through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the hypothalamus is centrally involved in the response to stress, a precipitating factor for the development of severe and highly prevalent psychiatric disorders, including depression. Thus, enhancing our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying hypothalamic function may be essential for the development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies for some of the most relevant public health concerns of our times.

CV and publications

Otto Loewi Awardee 2017

The 2017 Otto Loewi Price of the Austrian Neuroscience Association goes to Ruth Drdla-Schutting.

Dr. Drdla-Schutting is Associate Professor at the Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna. Her particular interest are mechanisms of pain in the spinal cord in general and of pathological pain in particular.

Award committee: Ludwig Aigner (ANA President), Monica Di Luca (University of Milan), Michael Hausser (University College London), Christian Humpel (University of Innsbruck), Kristin Tessmar-Raible (Max Perutz Laboratories, Uni Vienna).

Ruth Drdla-Schutting,
Assistant Professor at the Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna from 2011 – 2014
Visiting scientist at the Paris Déscartes University sponsored by an Erwin Schrödinger fellowship by the Austrian Science Fund from 2014 – 2015. Associate Professor at the Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna since 2015.

Center for Brain Research, Medical University of Vienna, with ANA President Ludwig Aigner


PhD 2008, Medical University of Vienna

Main research topic

Synaptic long-term potentiation at synapses in the superficial spinal cord dorsal horn is a mechanism thought to underlie the transition of acute to chronic pain. It can be induced by strong noxious stimuli such as inflammation or trauma, or upon withdrawal of opioids. I am investigating the mechanisms of induction, maintenance and reversal of this form of synaptic plasticity in the nociceptive system. My current work is focused on the role of glial cells and the effects of neuron-glial interactions on synaptic transmission and plasticity at synapses in the superficial layers of the spinal cord dorsal horn.

Links to past Otto Loewi Awardees:

Past Otto-Loewi Awardees

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