Klaus J. Jacobs Prize for Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Ella Rhodes reports.

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience), who has spent her career investigating the emotional and social development of the adolescent brain, has been awarded the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize for her research.

The award is given by the Jacobs Foundation, which promotes child and youth development, to recognise exceptional research in the field. Professor Blakemore’s research has focused on the development of social cognition and decision making during adolescence, helping to overturn the belief that no major neurodevelopmental changes occur after early childhood. By demonstrating that the brain develops both structurally and functionally during adolescence, her work has shown adolescence represents a period of relatively high neural plasticity, particularly in brain regions involved in executive function and social cognition.

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore said: ‘It is a great honour to be awarded the Klaus J Jacobs Prize. It is truly humbling that my lab’s research has been recognised by this prestigious award from the Jacobs Foundation. I am indebted beyond words to my mentors and to all the people who have worked in my team at UCL over the past 13 years, and I am grateful to the many children and young people who have taken part in our studies and the schools that support our research. I am also grateful to the colleagues who nominated me for this award. I feel privileged to work with such inspiring and supportive people.’

The award, consisting of 1 million Swiss Francs, will be presented on 4 December at an award ceremony at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

- Professor Blakemore appeared in 'The Psychologist presents… at Latitude Festival' earlier this year, and features throughout our archive.

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