06.10.2020 | News

Research on thirst wins 2020 Eppendorf & Science Prize

Christopher Zimmerman discovered that sensory signals originating throughout the body come together within individual neurons in the brain to produce the sense of thirst. He demonstrated that this new class of body-to-brain signals predicts changes in hydration before they occur and, as a result, adjusts our level of thirst preemptively. Zimmerman’s research has revealed fundamental principles of ingestive behavior of foods and liquids, and provided neural mechanisms to explain aspects of everyday human experience.


"Christopher Zimmerman described in an engagingly written essay the neurobiology that underlies a phenomenon everyone has experienced multiple times," explained Dr. Peter Stern, Senior Editor at Science and Chairman of the Prize Jury. "The work helps us understand, for example, how we can quickly feel thirst, how the sensation changes during meals, and why cold drinks have a thirst-quenching power."


"I’m excited and honored to receive the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology," said Zimmerman. "The prize will bring incredible exposure and recognition for my research at this crucial stage in my career."


"Eppendorf wants to reward and highlight the work of young, early-career scientists who are doing exceptional research in neurobiology," stated Eva van Pelt, Co-CEO of Eppendorf SE. "Our past winners have gone on to run incredibly successful labs of their own and have become the opinion-leaders in their field."


The 2020 finalists are:

Tara LeGates, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Tara LeGates’s lab studies how neuronal circuits integrate information to regulate behavior and their alterations in psychiatric disorders.

Riccardo Beltramo, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of California San Francisco. Riccardo Beltramo studies sensory perception in the mouse visual system, focusing on understanding how cortical and subcortical neural circuits process visual information to drive behavior.

The next deadline for applications is June 15, 2021. For more information about Christopher Zimmerman and the Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology, visit www.eppendorf.com/prize.