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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.

In 2019 the Otto-Loewi-Award is endowed with € 5.300,- sponsored by the Peter und Traudl Engelhorn-Stiftung

Neuroscientists working (or having worked) in Austria who are not older than 40 years have been invited to apply for the Otto-Loewi-Award. 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.

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 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.

The price 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 Hertie Foundation generously sponsored the 2017 price. 

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


PhD 2008, Medical University of Vienna
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

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

© 2017/2018 Austrian Neuroscience Association (ANA) / Österreichische Gesellschaft für Neurowissenschaften (ÖGN)