Dr. Tamás Freund was born in 1959 and graduated as a biologist from the Eötvös Loránd University in 1983. He was accepted as a correspondent of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1998 and became a full member in 2004. He is a member of the London-based European Academy (2000), the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg (2001), the German Academy of Sciences (2001), the American Academy of Sciences and Arts (2014), and the Pontifica Accademia per la Vita (2019).
Among his international awards are the Cajal Club of the American Anatomists’ Lifetime Achievement Award with the Cajal Medal (1998), the Swiss Demuth Award (1991), the Kemali International Prize (1991), and in 2011, with two other runners-up, he received the 1 million EUR Brain Prize in Denmark. He received the first Bolyai Prize in Hungary in 2000, won the Széchenyi Prize in 2005 and then the Prima Primissima Prize in 2013. Between 1998 and 2006, he was a board member of the World Federation of Neurology and from 2004 to 2006 he served as the President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies. He was the Vice President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences from 2014 and became its President in 2020.
He was the Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine (2002-2020) and is a Head of Department at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. His main areas of research include the structure and the functioning of the cerebral cortex, the role of our inner world as enriched by arts in the learning and memory processes and the development of creative thinking skills. Music is a hobby of his: from the age of 7 he studied clarinet at the Antal Csernák School of Music in Veszprém until his graduation, from the age of 14 he sang in the choir of the László Lovassy Grammar School and in the Veszprém City Mixed Choir under the direction of István Zámbó, Liszt Prize winner conductor, while he played the clarinet and the saxophone in the jazz orchestra of Endre Nyitrai.
During his military service, he became the founding member of a spiritual quartet which was later expanded into a mixed chamber choir upon the enrolment to the University of Szeged, evolving into the “Ki mit tud” winner Canticum Chamber Choir. Singing has stuck with him ever since, even in Budapest where he is currently a member of the Ars Nova Sacra Choir which he joined in the spring of 2012.