The 2023 Gruber Neuroscience Prize Awarded to Huda Akil
SfN Past-President Huda Akil, PhD, Gardner C. Quarton Distinguished University Professor of Neurosciences, Department of Psychiatry, and research professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute at the University of Michigan, has been awarded the 2023 Gruber Neuroscience Prize. The award recognizes her ground-breaking research toward the identification of the neural circuitry and molecular mechanisms that underlie a wide range of neuropsychiatric conditions such as stress, pain, depression, and drug addiction.
Akil has served as a volunteer leader with SfN for over two decades. She has been a member of the Government and Public Affairs Committee, Publications Committee, and chair of the Finance Committee. Akil served on the SfN Council from 1992–1996 and again from 1999–2004 where she served as treasurer (2000–2001) and president (2002–2003). Since her presidency, Akil has served on the International Affairs Committee, the Neuroinformatics Committee, and numerous SfN award selection committees.
Akil was the first to provide experimental evidence supporting the existence of endogenous opioids and their roles, together with their receptors, in regulating pain and stress. She also initiated studies on the molecular underpinnings of mood disorders by identifying the involvement of fibroblast growth factor family members in depression. Her work on rodent models of mental disorders has been validated in translational studies defining genome-wide expression profiles in postmortem human brains.
In addition to scientific contributions that have transformed the field of the neurobiology of mental diseases, Akil has made many generous contributions to the neuroscience community, including mentoring future generations and illustrating the importance of socio-cultural transitions experienced by immigrants in the scientific community.
The Gruber Neuroscience Prize honors scientists for major discoveries that have advanced the understanding of the nervous system. SfN partners with the Foundation on the Prize and nominates the members of the Selection Advisory Board that chooses the Prize recipients. The recipient receives a gold laureate pin and a $500,000 award. The Prize will be presented to Akil in Washington, D.C., on November 12 at Neuroscience 2023.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 35,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and the nervous system.