Tritsch and O'Leary Receive Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience to Nicolas X. Tritsch, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, and Timothy O’Leary, PhD, of Brandeis University. The award recognizes two promising young scientists for outstanding research and educational pursuit in an international setting. The award, supported by The Gruber Foundation, includes $25,000 for each recipient and will be presented during Neuroscience 2014, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“The field of neuroscience draws the best and the brightest from around the world,” SfN President Carol Mason said. “It is an honor to recognize Drs. Tritsch and O’Leary, whose research reflects extraordinary skill, intellect, and creativity.”
Research conducted by French native Tritsch has helped to uncover new information about how neurons communicate. As a postdoctoral fellow at in the laboratory of Bernardo L. Sabatini, MD, PhD, at Harvard, Tritsch discovered that neurons in the basal ganglia that produce dopamine co-release the neurotransmitter GABA. Such work may lead to new insights about therapies to treat Parkinson’s disease, as it suggests that current therapies, which aim to restore dopamine, may be missing an important factor in the disease. Tritsch earned his PhD at the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied how electrical activity is generated in auditory neurons before the onset of hearing.
O’Leary, a native of Wales and postdoctoral fellow at Brandeis University, is helping to advance what is known of how neurons regulate their own excitability. As a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh in the U.K., O’Leary discovered that electrical changes at the cell membrane influence how neurons regulate their excitability. Since taking on a postdoctoral fellow position in the laboratory of Eve Marder, PhD, at Brandeis, O’Leary has been working to develop accurate models of how individual neurons and networks of different kinds of neurons work to maintain homeostasis and compensate for changes.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. More information about the brain can be found at BrainFacts.org, a public information initiative of The Kavli Foundation, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, and SfN.