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Prof Veena Kumari granted Humboldt Award

Professor Veena Kumari has been awarded the prestigious Humboldt Award in recognition of a lifetime of achievements in research.

Veena Kumari is Professor of Experimental Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London, where her research focuses on the effects of pharmacological and psychological treatments on cognitive and affective deficits in schizophrenia, neurobiological correlates of violence in psychosis and personality disorder, and personality and brain functioning. 

Humboldt Research Awards, granted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, are awarded in recognition of a researcher's entire achievements to date, and to academics whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.

Professor Richard Brown, Head of Department of Psychology, commented: "This prestigious honour, which numbers 49 Nobel laureates amongst previous award winners, is a very fitting reflection of Professor Kumari's pioneering and wide-ranging contribution to psychology and neuroscience."

Professor Veena Kumari obtained her PhD in Psychology from Banaras Hindu University, India in 1993 before moving to the Institute of Psychiatry to continue her research. Professor Kumari is the UK’s leading researcher in the field of startle response and an internationally recognized authority on human sensorimotor gating, as assessed with pre-pulse inhibition of the startle response. She has studied human startle modulation at the clinical, genetic, neural and pharmacological levels in health and disease, and is listed among the top academics in the world in this field

She has published extensively on measures such as electromyography, electroencephalography, neuropsychology, structural and functional neuroimaging and genetics. She has made significant contributions to the fields of neuroscience of personality and sex differences; information processing deficits in schizophrenia and their pharmacological normalisation; neurobiology of cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis; and neurobiology of violence in schizophrenia and antisocial personality disorder.

She has received various international and national awards for her research, including the Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance of Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD), the British Association of Psychopharmacology (BAP) Clinical Psychopharmacology Prize, the Young/Senior Scientist Awards from the Schizophrenia Congress and the Hans Eysenck Annual Scholarship Award. 

Award winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany. Nominations to the Award are submitted by established academics in Germany, as well as previous award winners of the Humboldt Foundation. The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 100 Humboldt Research Awards annually.