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Nature Research Awards for Driving Global Impact

2019 judging panel

Our 2019 judging panel is made up of staff from Nature Research and independent academic experts providing expertise in brain sciences and impact assessment. Panel members will review applications to select the shortlisted candidates and decide the winner and 2 runners up. 

Magdalena Skipper (Panel chair) is Editor-in-Chief of Nature and Chief Editorial Advisor for Nature Research.  She has considerable editorial and publishing experience, having started in Nature Publishing Group in 2001. She was Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Genetics, Senior Editor for genetics and genomics at Nature, Executive Editor for the Nature Partner Journals and Editor-in-Chief of Nature Communications.  A geneticist by training, she obtained her PhD from University of Cambridge for studies on sex determination at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.  She continued her research at the ICRF Laboratories (CRUK today), London, before turning her attention to scientific publishing.  She is passionate about mentorship, transparent science and clarity in science communication.  She has a keen interest in innovation in science publishing.

Helen Carstairs is the Senior Knowledge Exchange Officer at the University of Oxford. Originally a physicist by training her doctoral work at the Life Sciences Interface Doctoral Training Centre and Department of Physics at University of Oxford was an interdisciplinary project to design and characterise nanoscale shuttles self-assembled from DNA and molecular motors. Postdoctoral research collaborating with the Marie Curie Research Institute and University of Warwick followed. She joined the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Team in 2013 and works to support, promote and coordinate knowledge exchange and impact activities across the University, and engagement with the region.

Noah Gray is a Senior Editor at Nature and has handled neuroscience submissions for the past ten years. Prior to this, he was an Associate Editor at Nature Neuroscience. Noah graduated with a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in art history from Notre Dame, completed his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the Mayo Clinic and did his postdoctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


Michael Häusser is Professor of Neuroscience at University College London and a Principal Research Fellow of the Wellcome Trust. He received his PhD from Oxford University under the supervision of Julian Jack. He subsequently worked with Nobel Laureate Bert Sakmann at the Max-Planck-Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg and with Philippe Ascher at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris. He established his own laboratory at UCL in 1997 and became Professor of Neuroscience in 2001. His group is interested in understanding the cellular and circuit basis of neural computation in the mammalian brain using a combination of experiments and theory. 

Nancy Y. Ip is the Vice-President for Research and Development, The Morningside Professor of Life Science, and the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. She received her PhD degree in Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School, after which she held the position of Senior Staff Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in New York. Her major research interests are in neural development and plasticity, as well as drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. She has published 290 papers and holds 55 patents. She was elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the World Academy of Sciences; and has received numerous awards and honors including the L’OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science Award.

Anna Christina Nobre holds the Chair in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience at Oxford, where she heads the Department of Experimental Psychology, directs the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, and chairs the Oxford Neuroscience Committee. Kia’s research group investigates how the brain proactively and dynamically anticipates events to guide perception and cognition based on task goals, expectations, and memories. They also apply advances in cognitive neuroscience to understand how psychological and network-level mechanisms are compromised in neurogenerative and psychiatric conditions. Before joining Oxford (1994), Kia completed her PhD and postdoctoral training at Yale and Harvard Medical School, during which time she conducted intracranial studies of word and object recognition and used the emerging fMRI technique to image brain areas involved in attention and working memory.

Anne-Marike Schiffer joined Nature Human Behaviour as an Associate Editor in 2017. Her formal training includes a BSc in Psychology, and an MSc in Neuropsychology. She carried out PhD research at the Max Planck Institute for Neurological research, specializing in neuroimaging and working on the role of the striatum in probabilistic perceptual learning. Subsequently, she conducted 4 years of post-doctoral research at the University of Oxford using neuroimaging and computational techniques to study the interaction between higher-order representations and low-level feedback for adaptive decision-making. Prior to transitioning into the Editorial career, she held an appointment as University Lecturer at Brunel University London.

Sebastien Thuault is a Senior Editor at Nature Neuroscience in New York. Since 2011, he’s been handling a variety of topics for the journal, ranging from molecular and cellular studies, to neurological disorders, and systems and cognitive neuroscience, giving him a broad overview of the field. Originally from France, Sebastien trained as a neurophysiologist in England and obtained his PhD at the University of Bristol in 2004. Before joining the journal, he performed post-doctoral research at Columbia University in New York, focusing on cortical mechanisms involved in working memory. Sebastien loves to learn something new every day and is passionate about neuroscience.

Nina Vogt conducted her Ph.D. research at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, where she studied mRNA localization in Drosophila under the supervision of Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. She then joined the lab of Claude at New York University where she worked on color vision in Drosophila. She joined Nature Methods in April 2014 and has since been handling manuscripts across the whole spectrum of neuroscience.

Heather Wood is the Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Neurology. She obtained a PhD in transplantation biology from the University of Cambridge in 1992. For her postdoctoral research, she worked with Gillian Morriss–Kay at the University of Oxford, investigating the effects of retinoids on hindbrain and limb development, and with Vasso Episkopou at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre, London, studying the roles of Sox genes in neural development. She joined Nature Reviews Neuroscience as an Associate Editor in 2000. In 2005, she became the launch editor of Nature Clinical Practice Neurology, which was rebranded as Nature Reviews Neurology in 2009.

Darran Yates was awarded his Ph.D. in neuroscience by the University of Bath, UK, where he worked with Adrian Wolstenholme on glutamate-gated chloride channels in nematodes. In July 2003, he moved to the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK, where he conducted two postdoctoral projects. The first project explored the assembly and axonal transport of neurofilaments, and was conducted in the laboratory of Christopher Miller. The second project examined binding partners of the amyloid precursor protein, and was jointly supervised by Declan McLoughlin and Christopher Miller. He joined Nature Reviews Neurology as an Associate Editor in February 2009 and became Chief Editor of Nature Reviews Neuroscience in February 2011.

Huda Zoghbi is Professor of Pediatrics, Neuroscience, and Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and founding Director of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. Zoghbi’s interest is in understanding healthy brain development as well as what goes awry in specific neurological conditions. She has published seminal work on the cause and pathogenesis of Rett syndrome and late-onset neurodegenerative diseases, and has trained over 85 scientists/physician-scientists. She has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among Zoghbi’s recent honors are the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, and Canada Gairdner International Prize.

            (Photo credit: Alexey Levchenko)