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Laureates / 

Winrich Freiwald

Winrich Freiwald is the Denise A. and Eugene W. Chinery professor of neurosciences and behavior at The Rockefeller University. Freiwald studied biology at the University of Göttingen and the University of Tübingen in Germany, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1993. But he was immersed in science and the pursuit of knowledge early in life, learning from his father, who was a political scientist, and his grandmother, who often read to him about the social and natural sciences. Freiwald did his graduate work under the mentorship of neurophysiologist Wolf Singer at the Max Plank Institute for Brain Research and received his PhD in 1998 from the University of Tübingen. He completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mentored by fellow laureate Nancy Kanwisher), the Hanse Institute for Advanced Study, and Harvard Medical School before moving to Bremen University in 2004 to direct the Primate Brain Imaging Group. Freiwald later joined the faculty of The Rockefeller University in 2009, where he now co-directs the Price Family Center for the Social Brain.

Through his work, Freiwald explores the neural underpinnings of complex cognitive functions, including attention and face processing. In addition to his seminal work with longtime collaborator, fellow laureate Doris Tsao, Freiwald has discovered additional brain regions and networks responsible for recognizing familiar faces and governing social interactions.

Freiwald is the recipient of several awards and honors, including the Irma T. Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Trust Research Award in 2009, the Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize in 2018, and the Golden Brain Award from the Minerva Foundation in 2018.