Society for Neuroscience Recognizes Scientists Dedicated to Advancement of Women in Neuroscience
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women in neuroscience during Neuroscience 2016, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“We are pleased to honor this outstanding group of neuroscientists with our annual achievement awards,” SfN President Hollis Cline said. “These researchers have achieved remarkable career success and tremendous creativity in their work, while actively promoting the advancement of women in science.”
Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award: Li-Huei Tsai
Established in 2000, the Mika Salpeter Award recognizes individuals with outstanding career achievements in neuroscience who have also actively promoted the professional advancement of women in neuroscience. The award includes a $5,000 prize, complimentary registration and transportation to SfN’s annual meeting.
Li-Huei Tsai, PhD, is the Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In work spanning more than two decades, Tsai has elucidated the role of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks), particularly Cdk5, in cortical development and brain disease. Currently, Tsai’s primary research goal is to elucidate the molecular, cellular, and circuit basis of neurological disorders affecting learning and memory, including developmental brain disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to her remarkable research accomplishments, Tsai is recognized for her strong leadership role in mentoring women scientists.
Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring: Eva Feldman
The Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring recognizes individuals dedicated to promoting women’s advancement in neuroscience, specifically by mentoring women to facilitate their entry into and retention in the field. This award is supported by Bernice Grafstein, PhD, who was the first female president of SfN. The award, established in 2009, includes complimentary registration and transportation to SfN’s annual meeting, along with a $2,000 prize.
Eva Feldman, MD, PhD, the Russell N. DeJong Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan, will receive this year’s award. For decades, Feldman has inspired women in science at all career levels through her remarkable accomplishments as a researcher, clinician, educator, and leader. She established the Junior Faculty Development Course offered by the American Neurological Association (ANA) and helped to establish the Women of the ANA, which allows women to network and discuss issues regarding work-life balance. As an exceptional mentor and role model, Feldman has devoted herself to training young clinician-scientists and offers continuous support, encouragement, and guidance to women and minorities as they advance through different career stages.
Patricia Goldman-Rakic Hall of Honor: Karen Gale
The Patricia Goldman-Rakic Hall of Honor is a posthumous award for a neuroscientist who pursued career excellence and exhibited dedication to the advancement of women in neuroscience. The family of the deceased honoree receives complimentary registration and transportation to SfN annual meeting and an engraved Tiffany & Co. crystal bowl.
Karen Gale was a top-notch research neuroscientist, a passionate educator, a compelling voice for women in science, and an extraordinary mentor. Gale earned her PhD at the University of Washington and spent her career as a professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, where she founded and directed the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience and served as president of the Society for Medical Women Faculty. Throughout her career, Gale made seminal contributions to the understanding of neural circuitry that controls seizure propagation, the roles of specific neurotransmitters in generating or protecting against epileptic seizures, and the effects of early life exposure to anticonvulsant drugs.
Gale inspired women scientists at all career levels. She strongly advocated for the fair treatment of women in science and instilled a can-do attitude in her trainees, instructing them on the art of negotiation and other important skills critical for a successful research career. Gale died from cancer at the age of 65 on Aug. 21, 2014. She is remembered warmly by her many trainees and colleagues throughout the field of neuroscience.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 38,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.