Spinoza Prize for Mihai Netea

Netea Mihai 2014

The NWO Spinoza Prize is the highest award in Dutch science. Each year, NWO awards the Spinoza Prizes to three or four researchers working in the Netherlands who according to international standards belong to the absolute top of science. The NWO Spinoza Laureates do outstanding and groundbreaking research, which has a large impact. The laureates each receive 2.5M Euros to spend on scientific research of their own choice. The NWO Spinoza Prize is a mark of honour and a stimulus for further research. 

Spinozauitreiking 2016: vlnr Jos Engelen (NWO), Bart van Wees, Mihai Netea, Lodi Nauta, Wilhelm Huck en Sander Dekker (OCW). Foto: Sascha Schalkwijk

Spinoza prize award 2016: left-to-right Jos Engelen (NWO), Bart van Wees, Mihai Netea, Lodi Nauta, Wilhelm Huck and Sander Dekker (OCW).

We are very proud that this year Mihai Netea receives the Spinoza prize for his groundbreaking scientific work. Today, the festive award ceremony for the NWO Spinoza Prizes will take place in the Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague. During the ceremony, Mihai will explain his research to the audience and how he intends to use his prize. Mihai Netea is full professor of experimental medicine, theme Infectious diseases and global health. He conducts research into how the immune system recognises microorganisms, including the dangerous fungus Candida albicans, which is causes blood poisoning. Mihai has made significant discoveries in this area. He was one of the first people to work in this research area internationally and is a pioneer in his field. 

Mihai was born and studied medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious diseases specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine. His main research interests are sepsis and immunoparalysis, pattern recognition of fungal pathogens, primary immunodeficiencies in innate immune system, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity. He is also involved in several projects on ancient DNA and understanding the evolution of the immune system. In his spare time he enjoys reading history and science fiction, while occasionally writing about the future. He lives with his wife and two children in Nijmegen. 

North-West Passage to the Moon: a science-fiction novel written by Mihai Netea (image right). 


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