Scientific prize

Aurore Thibaut receives the International Brain Injury Association Young Investigator Award for early career contribution to the field of brain injury medicine

Aurore Thibaut, a F.R.S.-FNRS post-doctoral fellow at the Coma Science Group (GIGA-Consciousness), has just been awarded the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA) Young Investigator Award for her promising research in the field of developing therapeutic strategies for patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness. This award recognizes the early career contribution of young researchers in the field of brain injury medicine.


ast March 2019, at the IBIA World Conference in Toronto, Aurore Thibaut received her award. Dr. Thibaut's research, under the supervision of the neurologist Steven Laureys, is developing non-invasive brain stimulation protocols to improve the recovery of patients who have suffered severe brain damage. Her research also focuses on the neurophysiological mechanisms of these techniques, as well as the development of biomarkers and current modelling to develop patient-tailored stimulation protocols. Aurore Thibaut is currently leading an international multi-center study involving nine European centres to test the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on the long-term recovery of patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness.

The same award had already been received by two researchers from the Coma Science Group at the University of Liège. Caroline Schnakers - who did her PhD and post-doctoral work at the Coma Science Group - was awarded in 2010 for her research on improving the accuracy of diagnosis of patients with consciousness disorders. Four years later, in 2014, Olivia Gosseries, who also did her PhD at the Coma Science Group and is currently a post-doctoral researcher there, received the same award for her research on transcranial magnetic stimulation coupled with electroencephalography to assess the level of consciousness.

The International Brain Injury Association

The IBIA is dedicated to the development and support of multidisciplinary medical and clinical professionals, advocates, decision-makers, consumers and others who work to improve outcomes and opportunities for people with brain injuries.

In 2016, the IBIA launched the DOC-SIG, a special interest group on consciousness disorders (IBIA-DOC-SIG), led by Dr Caroline Schnakers and Dr Nathan Zasler (IBIA co-chair). Dr Thibaut leads the treatment sub-group, which aims to encourage international collaborations and develop guidelines for the care of patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC).

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