SAN DIEGO — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) presented the Young Investigator Award to Rachel Wilson, PhD, during Neuroscience 2010, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news on brain science and health. Established in 1983 and supported by AstraZeneca, the award includes $15,000 and recognizes the achievements of neuroscientists who have received an advanced degree in the past 10 years.

“The Society believes that providing support to young neuroscientists and recognition for exceptional talent is important for encouraging progress in the field,” said Michael E. Goldberg, MD, president of SfN. “Dr. Wilson’s research approaches complex problems elegantly, and her work has given the field a better understanding of sensory information processing.”

As a graduate student, Rachel Wilson’s interest in the electrical and chemical signals between brain cells led to the novel discovery of the role of endocannabinoids in nerve cell communication. Currently, she is applying her expertise in nerve cell signaling to record the activity of brain cells in intact fly brains to examine odor representations in the olfactory system. Wilson’s studies have given the field a new understanding of the brain’s communication systems and.

Wilson completed her doctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco and is currently an associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

The Society for Neuroscience is an organization of more than 40,000 researchers and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.