Christine Van Broeckhoven

March 03, 2006

Christine Van Broeckhoven of the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), the University of Antwerp and the Born-Bunge Institute, is highly respected both nationally and internationally for her pioneering research into the cause of Alzheimer's disease. Today, on 2 March 2006, she will receive the prestigious 'l'Oréal-Unesco Award for Women in Science', which includes a monetary award of $100,000. This honor is conferred upon only one female researcher on each of the five continents. The award once again confirms the fact that Van Broeckhoven is one of Europe's top scientific researchers.
Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease − a degenerative disease that gradually and progressively destroys brain cells − is the major form of dementia, afflicting between 50-70% of all dementia sufferers. About 100,000 people suffer from this disease in Belgium. The damage to memory and mental functioning creates one of the most terrifying disease syndromes. In particular, the initial awareness of losing the sense of reality is an extremely difficult moment to accept. Scientists such as Christine Van Broeckhoven are searching feverishly for the mechanisms behind the disease, in the hope of making progress toward remedies.

l'Oréal-Unesco Award for Women in Science
This prestigious prize was created in 1998 by Nobel Prize winner Christian de Duve. Each year, the prize is awarded to 5 top women researchers − one on each continent − who are instrumental in advancing science. These female scientists serve as role models for future generations on their respective continents.

This year, some 2000 prominent researchers put forward their candidatures for this award − from this large number of candidates, a jury selected the 5 laureates. Christine Van Broeckhoven is the 2006 laureate for Europe. She will receive the award today, Thursday 2 March 2006, in the Unesco House Paris at 6.30 pm.

VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology)

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