Society for Neuroscience Presents Awards for Education in Neuroscience
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will present Yves De Koninck, PhD, and Liqun Luo, PhD, with this year’s Awards for Education in Neuroscience. The award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to neuroscience education and training and will be presented during SfN’s Awards Announcement Week 2020.
“The Society is pleased to honor Drs. De Koninck and Luo for their significant contributions to neuroscience, including creating innovative training programs and teaching materials, promoting science to the public, and training future scientists,” SfN President Barry Everitt, PhD said. “Recognizing their accomplishments in this manner should not only inspire the next generation of educators and mentors in neuroscience, but also provide an important message as to how science should be conducted.”
De Koninck is director of the CERVO Brain Research Center at Université Laval. His research on synaptic transmission has led to a greater understanding of how chronic pain develops and persists, as well as advancements in pain management strategies. As a mentor, De Koninck has demonstrated a notable dedication to the training of young scientists from different fields, including physics, chemistry, and mathematics, to enrich neuroscience and benefit society. He has mentored a large number of trainees who have gone on to award-winning scientific careers and influential positions in industry.
To support the development of new photonics-based technologies for brain research, De Koninck established the Neurophysics research training program and the Neurophotonics Centre at Laval University. He also created the International Summer School in Neurophotonics, in which students and junior scientists receive innovative, practical, and theoretical training on leading-edge neurophotonic techniques. Now in its 14th year, the summer school has provided training to over 250 students from around the world. The multiple scientific retreats, workshops, and discussion forums De Koninck organizes continue to foster new ideas and collaborations while providing training to hundreds of young scientists from Canada and abroad. De Koninck has also distinguished himself as a promoter of science organizations, as the founding director of the Quebec Pain Research Network and advisor to many funding bodies in Canada and internationally. For example, he currently leads the development of the Canadian Brain Research Strategy, in which leaders of the major neuroscience institutes across the country came together to establish a road map for neuroscience in Canada.
Luo is an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Ann and Bill Swindells professor of humanities and sciences at Stanford University. For nearly 24 years, Luo and his students have designed and applied genetic tools to investigate mechanisms of neural circuit assembly and function. In addition to directing cutting-edge research in his laboratory, Luo has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to neuroscience education. He has trained a large number of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, many of which are now conducting world-class neuroscience research in their own labs. For the last 22 years, Luo has been the driving force behind the popular Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology course for both undergraduate and graduate students at Stanford.
While maintaining his teaching and research responsibilities, Luo dedicated a great deal of time and effort to write an entirely new textbook tailored for undergraduate teaching, the single-authored “Principles of Neurobiology,” in 2015. This book presents the major concepts of neuroscience with an emphasis on how we know what we know, with the text organized around a series of key experiments to illustrate how scientific progress is made. The first edition received outstanding reviews and is listed as the textbook for 150 courses taught by major universities all over the world, including Princeton, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Brandeis, UNC, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and many others.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 36,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and the nervous system.