The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has announced that it has elected Prof. Dr. Leonard van den Berg as a new member. Members of the KNAW are leading scientists from all disciplines and are chosen based on their scientific achievements. The KNAW has about 550 members. A membership is for life. Together with prof. Dr. Van den Berg, eighteen other new members have been elected. The new Academy members will be installed on Monday September 16th .

The KNAW is a society of excellent scientists as well as an institution organization that, with their research and collections, belong to the (inter)national top. From an independent position, the Academy brings people and resources together to contribute to the development of our society with knowledge and creativity. In addition to this, the organization promotes the quality and integrity of scientific practice.

Regarding the motivation for his appointment, the jury writes: “The incurable disease ALS and related disorders are central in the work of Leonard van den Berg. With clinical and genetic research, lifestyle research and imaging techniques, his research group is looking for what exactly leads to motor nerve cell failure and muscle paralysis. Van den Berg uses powerful bio-informatics to interpret large amounts of data. Collaboration is also one of his assets. He is, for example, the founder and coordinator of ALS Center Netherlands and leads several international research projects. His work gives hope that in time there will be a treatment for ALS. "

"It is an enormous honor to be appointed by the jury as a member of the KNAW," says Leonard. “I am especially grateful for the immense support we receive for our work from patients, who are always willing to participate in the research that we do. Furthermore, cooperation with partners such as the ALS Foundation, patients' associations ALS Patients Connected and Muscular Diseases Netherlands is of crucial importance in the search for a solution to this disease. Without their support we could never have gotten as far as we are now. This appointment is an additional motivation to continue with the entire team of researchers and caregivers in the ALS Center in the search for a solution for ALS .”