Announcements, Awards
and Honors

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Alliance Members Awarded 2021 Gruber Neuroscience Prize

The Gruber Foundation presents the 2021 Neuroscience Prize to Alliance members Christine Petit, M.D., Ph.D., Institut Pasteur, and Christopher A. Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School, for their use of genetic and molecular methods to elucidate fundamental mechanisms underlying hereditary diseases of the human nervous system. The prize honors individuals in the fields of Cosmology, Genetics and Neuroscience.

Judy Illes Announced as 2021 Distinguished University Scholar

The University of British Columbia (UBC) honors Judy Illes, CM, Ph.D., as a 2021 Distinguished University Scholar. The honor recognizes faculty members who have distinguished themselves as scholars in research, teaching, and learning.

Lynn Nadel Elected to National Academy of Sciences

DABI Member Lynn Nadel, Ph.D., University of Arizona, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished achievements in original research focused on understanding hippocampal formation and its role in learning, memory, and spatial navigation. The honor is among the highest distinctions scientists can receive.

American Academy of Arts & Sciences Elects Three Alliance Members

DABI Members Bernice Grafstein, Ph.D., Weill Cornell Medical College, Li-Huei Tsai, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and BJ Casey, Ph.D., Yale University, join 252 scholars, artists, and innovators as newly elected Academy members for 2021. Grafstein and Tsai are inducted into the Neuroscience section under the Biological Sciences class and Casey is inducted into the Psychological Sciences section under the Social and Behavioral Sciences class.

Alliance Members Awarded the 2021 Brain Prize

The Lundbeck Foundation awards Michael Moskowitz, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, and Jes Olesen, M.D., University of Copenhagen, the Brain Prize in recognition of their ground-breaking work on migraine. The Alliance members join two other scientists in receiving the honor for contributing to the clinically effective classification of the various types of the disorder and then to the unraveling of the key mechanisms that cause it, eventually leading to revolutionary new treatments.

In Memoriam: Philip Seeman

We regretfully report the death of Philip Seeman, M.D., Ph.D., on January 9, 2021, at the age of 87. Winner of the Killam Prize in health sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an Officer of the Order of Canada, Dr. Seeman was known for his research on dopamine receptors and their involvement in diseases such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease. Dr. Seeman became a DABI member in 1998 while at the University of Toronto.

In Memoriam: Leslie G. Ungerleider

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Leslie G. Ungerleider, M.D., on December 10, 2020, at the age of 74. An experimental psychologist and neuroscientist, Dr. Ungerleider was previously Chief of the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition and the Section on Neurocircuitry at the National Institute of Mental Health. Her contributions to neuroscience include proposing a theory of two pathways of information processing in the brain—one specialized for object recognition and another for visuospatial perception. Dr. Ungerleider was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and was awarded the Women in Neuroscience Lifetime Achievement Award.

Alliance Members Elected AAAS Fellows

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) elects Linda Jo Van Eldik, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, and Sally E. Shaywitz, M.D., Yale University, as 2020 Fellows to the Section in Neuroscience and Section of Biological Sciences, respectively. The distinction honors “members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications in service to society have distinguished them among their peers and colleagues.”

In Memoriam: Frederick K. Goodwin

We regretfully announce the death of Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D., on September 10, 2020 at the age of 84. An original founding member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI), Goodwin’s research contributed to science’s understanding of bipolar disorder, depression, and suicide. A world renowned psychiatrist, Goodwin was previously a Director of the National Institutes of Mental Health, and former head of the Alcohol Drug Abuse & Mental Health Administration. He hosted the health and science radio show The Infinite Mind for more than seven years.

In Memoriam: Leslie Iversen

We are saddened to announce the passing of Professor Leslie Iversen, CBE, FRS, on July 30, 2020. Leslie Andersen, Visiting Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, was a Fellow of the Royal Society and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in addition to being an original member of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB). On the leading edge of neuropeptide and neurotransmitter research, Professor Iversen was among the first to show that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was released from inhibitory nerve terminals.

In Memoriam: Masakazu Konishi

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Masakazu Konishi, Ph.D., on July 23, 2020. Dr. Konishi was the Bing Professor of Behavioral Biology, Emeritus, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, and the International Society of Neuroethology. Distinguished for his work on the neurobiological study of natural behavior of owls and songbirds, Dr. Konishi and his lab contributed to our understanding of motor learning, language acquisition, and how all brains use sensory information to construct maps of their surroundings.

In Memoriam: Duane Alexander

We regretfully announce the death of Duane Alexander, M.D., earlier this year. Dr. Alexander was a former director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and he retired with the rank of Assistant Surgeon General after 31 years of service with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). In his capacity as NICHD Director, Dr. Alexander presided over many campaigns, including the creation of newborn screening programs; the reduction of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) rates in the United States; efforts to drastically lower rates of maternal-to-child transmission of HIV in the United States; and the prevention and correction of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. He was fond of sharing the fruits and vegetables grown on his Maryland farm.

American Psychological Association Honors Alliance Members

The APA’s 2020 Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions was conferred upon Lynn Nadel, Ph.D., and John O’Keefe, Ph.D. The honor recognizes psychologists who have made distinguished empirical or theoretical contributions to basic research in psychology.

National Academy of Sciences Elects DABI Members

Margaret S. Livingstone, Ph.D., and Richard Morris, D.Phil., FRSE, FRS, were announced as new members of the National Academy of Sciences. The honor is bestowed upon recipients “in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research” and is considered one of the highest distinctions scientists can receive.

In Memoriam: Per Andersen

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Professor Per Andersen on February 17, 2020. Per Andersen, Professor of Physiology at the University of Oslo’s Institute of Basic Medical Science, was a member of the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences. His research on neural circuitry and the hippocampal region continues to shape modern systems of neuroscience, having led the lab that discovered long-term potentiation and having pioneered the use of transverse slices in the study of the function of brain synapses. A prolific educator, Prof. Andersen taught more than 5,000 medical students, including Dana Alliance members May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, both of who are Nobel Laureates. 

In Memoriam: Bruce S. McEwen

We are saddened to announce the passing of Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D., on January 2, 2020, after a brief illness. Dr. McEwen was the Alfred E. Mirsky Professor and head of the Harold and Margaret Milliken Hatch, Laboratory of Neuroendocrinology at the Rockefeller University. A pioneer and legend in the field of neuroendocrinology, Dr. McEwen studied environmentally-regulated, variable gene expression in the brain mediated by circulating steroid hormones and endogenous neurotransmitters in relation to brain sexual differentiation and the actions of sex, stress and thyroid hormones on the adult brain. He was a devoted champion of neuroscience outreach and was known for being incredibly generous with his time and knowledge.

DABI Elects Twenty New Members

The Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives announced the names of twenty newly elected members. Read the press release here.

National Academy of Medicine Elects DABI Members

David G. Amaral, Ph.D., and Guo-li Ming, M.D., Ph.D., were announced as new members of the National Academy of Medicine. The distinction is “considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.”

In Memoriam: Norbert Herschkowitz

We are saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Norbert Herschkowitz on July 3, 2019, after a long illness. Dr. Herschkowitz, a founding member of EDAB and member of DABI, was a neuroscientist, pediatrician, and professor emeritus at the University of Bern in Switzerland. He was an advisor to the Swiss Federal Health Department on child development, with emphasis on protective factors against antisocial and risk behavior. He also collaborated for many years with DABI member Jerome Kagan, Harvard University’s pioneer in the study of temperaments. Dr. Herschkowitz and Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz co-authored the Dana Press Book “A Good Start in Life: Understanding Your Behavior form Birth to Age 6.”

Graham L. Collingridge Recognized in 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honors

Alliance Member Graham L. Collingridge, Ph.D., FRS, was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s birthday honors list on June 8, 2019. The honor recognizes Dr. Collingridge for his contributions to neuroscience research.

Linda Richards Recognized in 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honors

Alliance member Linda Richards, Ph.D., FAA, FAHMS, was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen’s birthday honors list on June 8, 2019. The honor recognizes Dr. Richards for her “distinguished service to medical research and education in the field of developmental neurobiology, and to community engagement in science.”

EDAB Member Recognized in 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours

Jane Elizabeth Haley, Ph.D., was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s birthday honors list on June 8, 2019. The honor recognizes Dr. Haley for “services to Scientific Engagement and Education.”

In Memoriam: Dominick P. Purpura

We regretfully announce the death of Dominick Purpura on May 16, 2019. Described by colleagues as an “extraordinary teacher,” Dr. Purpura was dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for 22 years and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and its Institute of Medicine. His numerous contributions to neuroscience include furthering knowledge of the mechanisms of epilepsy and demonstrating that structural abnormalities in the brain’s nerve cells are fundamentally involved in disorders of cognitive development. A dean well known for remarking that “pressure makes diamonds,” Dr. Purpura’s educational platform proved extremely influential and was adopted by medical schools nationwide.

In Memoriam: Paul Greengard

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Paul Greengard on April 13, 2019. Dr. Greengard, received the Nobel Prize in 2000 along with fellow DABI members Eric Kandel and Arvid Carlsson. Dr. Greengard was the Vincent Astor Professor at The Rockefeller Universty and director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimers Disease Research. Through his research in slow synaptic transmission, Dr. Greengard advanced our understanding of how brain cells communicate and would later work on studying the signaling defects of specific disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease.