Mara Dierssen

Neurobiologist specialized in Down syndrome

Group leader at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona. Her main area of research is inquiring into how the brain brings about the specific behaviour of each individual. In particular, she has specialized in Down syndrome, a field in which she has produced trailblazing internationally recognized research into the genetic bases of intellectual impairment. Moreover, her work in the therapeutic area has led to improvements in cognitive performance for people with Down syndrome.

She has received numerous awards during her career as a researcher, notable among them the 2008 National Prize for Thought and Scientific Culture (Government of Catalonia), and two Jaime Blanco prizes for her research into Down syndrome. She has also received other honours for her work of promoting scientific knowledge through lectures and publications like El cerebro artístico. La creatividad desde la neurociencia (The Artistic Brain: Creativity from Neuroscience, EMSE, 2016).

She belongs to, and has been president of the Spanish Society of Neuroscience (2013-2015), International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society and the Trisomy 21 Research Society. She is also Silver Medal of the College of Medicine and Alumni Distinguida of the University of Cantabria. She is elected a member of the Academia Europaea, which brings together leading scientists and university professors from around Europe. She has received numerous awards for her multiple contributions to science and science dissemination and advocacy.

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