Eric Kandel receives the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold on Ribbon for Services to the Republic of Austria

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(c) MedUni Wien_Harson
(c) MedUni Wien_Harson

On the occasion of a visit to MedUni Vienna and the Eric Kandel Institute - Centre for Precision Medicine, which is currently under construction, Eric Kandel received the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold on Ribbon for Services to the Republic of Austria yesterday evening. The award was presented to the honorary doctor of MedUni Vienna by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen at an event in the Vienna Hofburg.

With the findings from his scientific work, Eric Kandel (born 1929 in Vienna) provided deep insights into the performance of human memory and a molecular understanding of mental processes and psychiatric illnesses. In 2000, Kandel, a professor at Columbia University in New York, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of chemical and structural changes in the brains of all learning organisms, from snails to humans.

Kandel was forced to emigrate to the USA with his family in 1939 after the annexation of Austria by National Socialist Germany and was granted American citizenship in 1945.

In 2018, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Medical University of Vienna. Eric Kandel is the namesake of the "Eric Kandel Institute - Center for Precision Medicine" currently under construction at MedUni Vienna General Hospital Campus, whose construction site he visited on Wednesday and where 6,000 m of modern infrastructure for personalised and digital medicine is being created. By the end of 2026, around 200 researchers will have an internationally competitive infrastructure at the Eric Kandel Institute to develop prevention, diagnosis and treatment methods tailored to individual patients.

Eric Kandel Institute - Centre for Precision Medicine