Steffen Wolff Receives Nemko Prize in Cellular or Molecular Neuroscience
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Nemko Prize in Cellular or Molecular Neuroscience to Steffen Wolff, PhD, of Harvard University. This prize acknowledges the achievements of a young scientist in recognition of an outstanding PhD thesis advancing understanding of molecular, genetic, or cellular mechanisms underlying brain function. The $2,500 prize was established in 2013 by columnist, author, and career coach Marty Nemko, PhD, on behalf of the Nemko family. The prize will be presented during Neuroscience 2014, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“With great drive and experimental rigor, Dr. Wolff has made significant strides using cutting-edge cellular techniques to answer important questions about fear,” SfN President Carol Mason said. “We are thrilled to recognize his contributions to cellular neuroscience with the Nemko award.”
As a PhD student at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland, Wolff used optogenetics — a technique that allows researchers to control the activity of neurons in freely moving animals — to probe the neural circuits involved in fear learning. Wolff’s research led him to the discovery that fear conditioning is controlled by a shift in the electrical properties of a group of specific cells in the amygdala, a brain region known to play a central role in emotional learning.
Wolff is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.
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.