A top Oxford-based neuroscientist has been handed a top award.

Gero Miesenböck, 48, above, director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford, has been awarded the Brain Prize 2013 for his pioneering work in the field of optogenetics.

Prof Miesenböck was the first scientist to modifiy nerve cells genetically to produce light-responsive pigments. He was also the first to use the technique of optogenetics to remote-control the behaviour of an animal.

Prof Miesenböck will share the €1m award with five other scientists.