Society for Neuroscience Announces Achievement Awards
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) announced the winners of major achievement awards during Neuroscience 2014, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“It is an honor to recognize the recipients of the 2014 achievement awards," said Carol Mason, PhD, president of SfN. "This group of very talented individuals has not only served to advance the field of neuroscience through discovery but also in their support of future leaders in the field."
Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award: Michela Gallagher, PhD
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.
Michela Gallagher, PhD, is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and serves as director of the Neurogenetics and Behavior Center at The Johns Hopkins University. Studies by Gallagher in the late-1970s demonstrated the critical role of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine in modulating memory processes supported by the amygdala — an area of the brain involved in emotions and learning. Over time, Gallagher has increasingly focused on the neurobiological mechanisms behind cognitive impairment and perseverance during aging.
In addition to her research accomplishments, Gallagher is recognized for her work with early career scientists. She has mentored more than 40 pre- and postdoctoral trainees, many of them women, who have gone on to develop successful careers of their own.
Janett Rosenberg Trubatch Career Development Award: Alexander Maier, PhD, and Juan Song, PhD
Supported by the Trubatch family, the Career Development Award recognizes originality and creativity in neuroscience research conducted by early career professionals. The award includes complimentary SfN annual meeting registration and a $2,000 prize.
Alexander Maier, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University, aims to understand how neural activity gives rise to visual perception. Using electrophysiology techniques, Maier helped to locate a group of neurons in the brain’s vision center that are activated when a person views certain visual illusions. Maier earned his PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany.
Juan Song, PhD, an assistant professor of pharmacology at the University of North Carolina, is interested in understanding the mechanisms that regulate neural circuit organization and function during neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) in the adult brain. Using a combination of electron microscopy, electrophysiology and optogenetics, Song's group recently identified a group of interneurons that regulate the development and survival of newborn cells in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is critical to memory formation. Song earned her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.
Louise Hansen Marshall Special Recognition Award: Stacie Bloom, PhD
The Louise Hansen Marshall Special Recognition Award honors an individual who has significantly promoted the professional development of women in neuroscience through teaching, organizational leadership, public advocacy, and more. The award includes complimentary SfN annual meeting registration.
Stacie Grossman Bloom, PhD, senior executive director of administration and policy at New York University Langone Medical Center, began her career in the lab where, as a post-doctoral fellow, she studied the neurological basis for disease. After leaving the lab in 2002, Bloom served as a neuroscience editor at Nature Medicine, and then became the Vice President and Scientific Director of the New York Academy of Sciences, where she mentored more than a dozen women scientists transitioning to roles outside of academia. She assumed the role as Executive Director of the New York University Neuroscience Institute two years ago. While in this position, Bloom assembled a strong team of administrators, who actively work on career development of scientists at all career stages. Bloom earned her PhD from Georgetown University.
Bernice Grafstein Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Mentoring: Karen Gale, PhD
The Bernice Grafstein Award 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 award.
Karen Gale, PhD, was a professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University until her recent passing in August 2014. In addition to her research probing neural networks in the brain and their role in neurological disorders, Gale founded and served as director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, where she aided young women in finding their career path in science.
Gale's daughter, Justine Underhill, will accept the award in her mother's honor at Neuroscience 2014.
The Society for Neuroscience is an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.