Alexander van Oudenaarden received the NWO Spinoza Prize on 12 September in the Royal Theatre in The Hague, the Netherlands. The Spinoza Prize is the highest awards in Dutch science.

Van Oudenaarden has been given the Spinoza award for his exceptional, pioneering and inspiring work. He has been praised by his peers as a pioneer in single-cell biology, and he is considered to be a global authority in this new field.

The Spinoza is not only an honour but also an incentive to perform further research that has a major impact within and outside the field as well as an inspiration to younger researchers.

Van Oudenaarden: “What drives me, is really understanding things. That primal urge to understand, is what keeps me going. I sink my teeth into something and I will not let go until I understand it.”

The other laureates this year are the developmental psychologist Eveline Crone, analytical chemist Albert Heck and physical chemist Michel Orrit. During the award ceremony in the Royal Theatre in The Hague, the laureates presented their research plans and received the Spinoza award.

Portraits of Alexander van Oudenaarden can be found here:

An interview with Van Oudenaarden will be shown on NPO Cultura (on the Dutch television) on the 21st of September at 19:45.