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Awardees

2018-2020

Eiman Azim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory,

Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA

Spinal Circuits Controlling Dexterous Forelimb Movement

Dexterous movements of our arms, hands and fingers are fundamental to our everyday interactions with the world, but science is just starting to scratch the surface of understanding how specific neural circuits control the precision, speed and fidelity of these impressive motor behaviors. Dr. Azim’s laboratory at the Salk Institute is at the forefront of this field, deploying a multidisciplinary approach aimed at dissecting the molecular, anatomical and functional diversity of motor pathways one element at a time. Taking advantage of recent advances in machine learning, computer vision technology and molecular-genetic tools, the Azim Lab aims to develop more standardized, unbiased, high-throughput approaches to piecing together the neural underpinnings of movement–especially skilled motions like goal-directed reaching and grasping. His findings could help to clarify how disease or injury disrupts the normal execution of movement, paving the way for improved diagnosis and treatment.

Rudy Behnia, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Columbia University-Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, New York, NY

State-dependent Neuromodulation of a Circuit for Motion Vision

Dr. Behnia studies the dynamic processes devoted to vision, exploring how the brain’s visual system drives behaviors and helps animals and humans survive and thrive in complex environments teeming with sensory stimuli. Using the fruit fly model system, Behnia’s laboratory investigates how animals perceive and adapt their behavior to changing environments through a variety of complementary techniques, including in vivo single cell patch-clamp recordings, two-photon activity-imaging, optogenetic and behavioral paradigms. A particular focus of Dr. Behnia’s McKnight-funded work will be exploring how internal states such as attention alter the brain’s sensitivity to certain stimuli, research that could shed new light on the role neuromodulators play in changing the function of neural circuits. This research may also reveal new targets for therapeutic strategies for disorders such as depression and ADHD.

Felice Dunn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco

The Establishment and Regulation of Rod and Cone Vision

Dr. Dunn’s research is focused on finding out how visual information is parsed and processed in the retinal circuit, knowledge that could open new avenues for restoring lost vision. While many retinal diseases that lead to vision loss or blindness begin with the degeneration of photoreceptors, how disease progresses to affect postsynaptic neurons is still largely unknown. In her lab, Dunn deploys temporally-controlled transgenic ablation of photoreceptors, functional recordings and imaging of single cells, and gene-editing methods to investigate the retina’s remaining cells and synapses. Her work will help to uncover how the remaining circuit changes its structure and function in a degenerating retina, and may help reveal potential therapies to halt or prevent the loss of vision.

John Tuthill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle

Proprioceptive Feedback Control of Locomotion in Drosophila

Proprioception–the body’s sense of self-movement and position–is critical, for the effective control of movement, yet little is known about how the brain’s motor circuits integrate this feedback to guide future movements. Dr. Tuthill’s lab is working to unlock the essence of motor learning in the brain by investigating how walking fruit flies learn to avoid obstacles and navigate unpredictable environments, assessing the role of sensory feedback in motor control by optogenetically manipulating proprioceptor activity. A deeper understanding of proprioceptive feedback control has the potential to transform the way in which we understand and treat movement disorders.

Mingshan Xue, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Function and Mechanism of Input-specific Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity In Vivo

Navigating complex environments and changing internal states, the healthy brain maintains a constant balance between excitation and inhibition (often characterized as E/I ratio) that’s remarkably stable.  How does the brain maintain this balance? Dr. Xue’s laboratory will explore this question, combining molecular, genetic, electrophysiological, optogenetic, imaging, and anatomical approaches to determine whether homeostatic plasticity regulates synapses in an input-specific manner in vivo, thereby maintaining neuronal activity levels and functional response properties. Gaining a deeper understanding of how the normal brain copes with perturbations can pave the way for interventions to treat neurological diseases that disrupt the brain’s natural balance.

Brad Zuchero, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA

Mechanisms of Myelin Membrane Growth and Wrapping

The loss of myelin—the fatty electrical insulator around neuronal axons—can cause severe motor and cognitive disabilities in patients with multiple sclerosis and other diseases of the central nervous system. Building a “textbook model” of the complex mechanisms that drive myelin formation is now the goal of Dr. Zuchero’s research lab at Stanford University. Combining innovative approaches including super-resolution microscopy, genome editing with CRISPR/Cas, and novel genetic cytoskeletal tools devised in his own lab, Zuchero’s team will investigate how and why myelin wrapping requires the dramatic disassembly of the oligodendrocyte actin cytoskelton, a process that may reveal new targets or treatment paths for myelin regeneration and repair.

2017-2019

Martha Bagnall, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine

Sensory and motor computations underlying postural control 

Posture is crucial to normal function, but little is known about how the brain successfully routes sensory signals about orientation, movement and gravity through the spinal cord to keep the body “right side up.” Dr. Bagnall’s lab studies how animals maintain posture by focusing on the vestibular system of the zebrafish, a model organism with a spinal cord remarkably similar to limbed mammals. In early development, the spinal cords of larval zebrafish are transparent, providing researchers a valuable glimpse at the diverse populations of neurons activated during different types of movements. By learning more about how these distinct premotor pathways are recruited during postural behaviors—allowing animals to adjust to changes in roll and pitch—Bagnall’s research may reveal new discoveries about the complex neural connections that govern equivalent behavior in humans. Her work could also inform the development of devices that can help people regain their balance and posture, and improve the lives of people whose balance has been impaired by injury or disease.

Stephen Brohawn, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Mechanisms of biological force sensation

Dr. Brohawn studies life’s electrical system from a molecular and biophysical perspective, with a focus on finding the answer to the question “How do we feel?”  The nervous system’s capacity to sense mechanical force is one of the foundations of hearing and balance, but science hasn’t yet revealed the protein machinery that converts mechanical forces into electrical signals. Using a range of approaches from X-ray crystallography to cryo-electron microscopy, Brohawn’s lab takes a “bottom up” approach to the question, capturing atomic resolution snapshots of the membrane proteins when at rest and under force. Gaining an understanding of how hearing and balance work on a detailed molecular level may someday form the basis for new therapies to improve the lives of individuals who’ve experienced auditory or vestibular loss of function.

Mehrdad Jazayeri, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/McGovern Institute of Brain Research

Thalamocortical mechanisms of flexible motor timing

Dr. Jazayeri studies how the brain keeps track of time by investigating the neural dynamics that allow us to anticipate, measure, and reproduce time intervals. From making conversation, to learning music, to playing a sport, timing is critical to cognitive and motor function, but the underlying computational principles and neural mechanisms of timing remain largely unknown. To explore this important building block of cognition, Jazayeri taught monkeys to reproduce time intervals, as if keeping the beat in music—an approach he continues to develop as his research lab works to uncover the neural basis of sensorimotor integration, a key component of deliberation and probabilistic reasoning. His research could advance our understanding of the cognitive flexibility that allows us to pay attention, adapt to new information, and make inferences, while identifying major targets for a variety of cognitive disorders.

Katherine Nagel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, New York University School of Medicine/Neuroscience Institute

Neural mechanisms underlying olfactory search behavior in drosophila melanogaster

Dr. Nagel explores how fruit flies combine sensory information to find their way to food–-a simple behavior that may shed new light on the complex neural circuitry that allows the brain to turn sensations into action. A model organism with a simple brain and a complex capacity to make “decisions on the wing,” fruit flies turn upwind when they meet the fluctuating plume of an attractive odor, and search downwind when the odor is lost. To find a food source, flies must integrate olfactory, mechanical, and visual inputs, and transform these inputs into meaningful spatial decisions.  Nagel’s lab uses quantitative behavioral analysis, electrophysiology, genetic manipulations, and computational modeling to discover how this integration works at a single cell level, shedding light on one of the brain’s most ancient guidance systems. One of the principal investigators in a National Science Foundation initiative called “Cracking the Olfactory Code,” Nagel’s research may advance neuroscience in new directions, from revealing more about how the human brain computes in space and time, to helping inform the future development of olfactory robots.

Matthew Pecot, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

Defining the transcriptional logic underlying neural network assembly in the Drosophila visual system 

The precision with which neurons form synaptic connections is fundamental to animal behavior, yet how neurons identify correct synaptic partners amidst the staggering cellular complexity of the nervous system is unclear. To identify molecular principles underlying synaptic specificity the Pecot lab studies neural connectivity in the fly visual system, which comprises well-defined genetically accessible neuron types with known patterns of synaptic connectivity. Based on their research, they propose that correct synaptic partners express a common master regulator protein which controls the expression of molecules that instruct their synaptic connectivity. Ensuring that neurons destined to form connections express the same master regulator may provide a simple strategy for establishing precise neural connections. With a growing body of evidence identifying defects in neural connectivity as a driver in neurological disease, Dr. Pecot’s research could inspire therapeutic strategies focused on rewiring damaged neural circuits in affected individuals.

Michael Yartsev, Ph.D., Bioengineering Assistant Professor, Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Neurobiological basis of vocal production learning in the developing mammalian brain

Language lies at the heart of what it means to be human. We possess a capacity for vocal learning that we share with just a few mammalian species. Dr. Yartsev is embarking on the first detailed investigation of vocal production learning in the mammalian brain, using Egyptian fruit bats to help answer the question of what it is about our brains that allows us to learn language. Using such novel technologies as wireless neural recording, optogenetics, imaging and anatomical mapping, Yartsev and the team hope to decipher the neural mechanisms that underlie the brain’s ability to acquire language. Yartsev’s work could also yield new insights into childhood speech delays, aphasia, and other language loss and development disorders.

2016-2018

Mark Andermann, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

A pathway for hunger modulation of learned food cue responses in insular cortex

Dr. Andermann’s research addresses the ways the brain notices and acts upon images relating to food, especially when an individual is hungry. His work is driven by the urgent societal need to develop comprehensive therapies for obesity. Humans pay attention to the things their bodies tell them they need. Over-attention to food cues, which results in seeking more food than is needed, can persist in individuals suffering from obesity or eating disorders, even when satiated. Andermann’s lab developed a method involving two-photon calcium imaging through a periscope to study hundreds of neurons in a mouse brain, and found that the brain’s response to images associated with food differed depending on whether the mouse was hungry or sated. The Andermann lab is collaborating with Dr. Brad Lowell’s lab—experts in the brain circuitry controlling hunger—to study the insular cortex in search of ways to prevent cravings for the wrong foods in obese subjects.

John Cunningham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, Columbia University

The computational structure of populations of neurons in the motor cortex

Dr. Cunningham’s primary research mission is to advance the scientific understanding of the neural basis of complex behaviors. For example, better understanding the brain’s role in generating voluntary movements can potentially help millions of people with motor impairments due to disease and injury. Cunningham is part of a small but growing field of statisticians applying statistical and machine learning techniques to neuroscience research. He combines aspects of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to extract meaningful insights from massive datasets generated in experiments. He aims to bridge the gap between data recording and scientific payoff, seeking to create analytical tools he and other researchers can harness. Analysis methods capable of handling the massive datasets generated are essential to the field, particularly as researchers record evermore data of increasing complexity.

Roozbeh Kiani, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, New York University, Center for Neural Science

Hierarchical decision processes that operate over distinct time scales underlie choice and changes in strategy

Dr. Kiani is researching how adaptive behavior occurs in decision making. Decisions are guided by available information and strategies that link information to action. Following a bad outcome, two potential sources of error—flawed strategy and poor information—must be distinguished to improve future performance. This process depends on interaction of several cortical and subcortical areas that collectively represent sensory information, retrieve relevant memories, and plan and execute desired actions. Dr. Kiani’s research focuses on the neuronal mechanisms that implement these processes, especially how sources of information are integrated, how relevant information is selected and routed flexibly from one brain area to another, and how the decision-making process gives rise to subjective beliefs about anticipated outcomes. His research could have long-term implications for the study of neurological disorders that disrupt decision-making processes such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Alzheimer’s.

Yuki Oka, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology, California Institute of Technology

Peripheral and Central Mechanisms of Body Fluid Regulation

Dr. Oka’s lab studies neural mechanisms underlying body fluid homeostasis, the fundamental function that regulates the balance between water and salt in the body. His team aims to understand how peripheral and central signals regulate water drinking behavior. Toward this goal, his research team will combine physiology and neural manipulation tools to define the specific brain circuits that play an essential role in controlling thirst. They will then examine how the activities of those circuits are modulated by external water signals. His work could have significant implications for new clinical treatments of appetite-related disorders.

Abigail Person, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Colorado Denver

Circuit mechanisms of cerebellar motor correction

Movement is central to all behaviors, yet the brain’s motor control centers are barely understood. Dr. Person’s work explores how the brain makes movements precise. Person’s lab is particularly interested in an ancient part of the brain called the cerebellum, asking how its signals correct ongoing motor commands. The cerebellum has been particularly attractive for circuit analysis because its layers and cell types are very well defined. However, its output structures, called the cerebellar nuclei, violate this rule and are much more heterogeneous and hence, much more confusing. Using a variety of physiological, optogenetic, anatomical and behavioral techniques, her research aims to untangle the mix of signals in the nuclei to interpret how it contributes to motor control. Person anticipates that her research may offer clinicians insight into therapeutic strategies for people with cerebellar disease, and could potentially contribute to the class of technologies that use neural signals to control prosthetic limbs.

Wei Wei, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, University of Chicago

Dendritic processing of visual motion in the retina

Dr. Wei’s research seeks to understand the neural mechanisms of motion detection in the retina. The earliest stage of visual processing by the brain occurs in the retina, the place where photons from the physical world are transformed into neural signals in the eye. Much more than a camera, the retina functions like a little computer that begins to process visual inputs into multiple streams of information before relaying them to higher visual centers in the brain. By current estimates there are more than 30 neural circuits in the retina, each computing a different feature, such as aspects of motion, color and contrast. Dr. Wei’s lab is using patterns of light to study how the retina determines the direction of image motion. Her work will uncover the rules of visual processing at the subcellular and synaptic level, and provide insights into the general principles of neural computation by the brain.

2015-2017

Susanne Ahmari, University of Pittsburgh 
Identifying Neural Circuit Changes Underlying OCD-related Behaviors

Marlene Cohen, University of Pittsburgh
Causal and Correlative Tests of the Hypothesis that the Neuronal Mechanisms Underlying Attention Involve Interactions between Cortical Areas 

Daniel Dombeck, Northwestern University
Functional Dynamics, Organization and Plasticiity of Place Cell Dendritic Spines 

Surya Ganguli, Stanford University
From Neural data to Neurobiological Understanding through High Dimensional Statistics and Theory

Gaby Maimon, Rockefeller University
Neuronal Basis for the Internal Initiation of Action

Kay Tye, Massachusetts Institute of Technology 
Deconstructing the Distributed Neural Mechanisms in Emotional Valence Processing

2014-2016

Jessica Cardin, Yale University
Mechanisms of State-Dependent Cortical Regulation

Robert Froemke, NYU School of Medicine
Neural Circuitry and Plasticity for Control of Mammalian Social Behavior

Ryan Hibbs, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Structure and Mechanism of Neuronal Acetylcholine Receptors

Jeremy Kay, Duke University
Assembly of Retinal Direction-Selective Circuitry

Takaki Komiyama, UC San Diego 
Motor Cortex Plasticity in Motor Learning

Ilana Witten, Princeton University
Deconstructing Working Memory: Dopamine Neurons and Their Target Circuits 

2013-2015

Hillel Adesnik, University of California-Berkeley
Optically Probing the Neural Basis of Perception

Mark Churchland, Columbia University
The Neural Substrate of Voluntary Movement Initiation

Elissa Hallem, University of California – Los Angeles
Functional Organization of Sensory Circuits in C.Elegans

Andrew Huberman, University of California – San Diego
Trans-Synaptic Circuits for Processing Directional Motion

Dayu Lin – NYU Langone Medical Center
The Circuit Mechanism of Lateral Septum Mediated Aggression Modulation

Nicole Rust – University of Pennsylvania
The Neural Mechanisms Responsible for Identifying Objects and Finding Targets

2012-2014

Anne Churchland, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Neural Circuits for Multisensory Decision-Making

Patrick Drew, Pennsylvania State University
Imaging Neurovascular Coupling in the Behaving Animal

David Freedman, University of Chicago
Neuronal Mechanisms of Visual Categorization and Decision Making

Mala Murthy, Princeton University
Neural Mechanisms Underlying Acoustic Communication in Drosophila

Jonathan Pillow, University of Texas at Austin
Deciphering Cortical Representations at the Level of Spikes, Currents, and Conductances

Vanessa Ruta, Rockefeller University
The Functional Organization of the Neural Circuits Underlying Olfactory Learning 

2011-2013

Adam Carter, Ph.D., New York University
Synapse Specificity in Striatal Circuits

Sandeep Robert Datta, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Neural Mechanisms Underlying Sensory-Driven Behaviors

Qing Fan, Ph.D., Columbia University
Molecular Mechanism of Metabotropic GABA Receptor Function

Ila Fiete, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
Cortical Error-Correction for Near-Exact Computation

Winrich Freiwald, Ph.D., Rockefeller University
From Face Recognition to Social Cognition

Nathaniel Sawtell, Ph.D., Columbia University
Mechanisms for Sensory Prediction in Cerebellar Circuits 

2010-2012

Anatol C. Kreitzer, Ph.D., J. David Gladstone Institutes
Function and Dysfunction of Basal Ganglia Circuits In Vivo

Seok-Yong Lee, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
Structure and pharmacology of sodium channel voltage sensors

Stavros Lomvardas, Ph.D., University of California
Molecular mechanisms of olfactory receptor choice

Song-Hai Shi, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Clonal production and organization of interneurons in the mammalian neocortex

Andreas S. Tolias, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
The functional organization of the cortical microcolumn 

2009-2011

Diana Bautista, Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Mammalian Touch and Pain

James Bisley, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The Role of Posterior Parietal Cortex in Guiding Attention and Eye Movements

Nathaniel Daw, Ph.D., New York University
Decision Making in Structured, Sequential Tasks: Combining Computational, Behavioral, and Neuroscientific Approaches

Alapakkam Sampath, Ph.D., University of Southern California
The Role of Optimal Processing in Setting Sensory Threshold

Tatyana Sharpee, Ph.D., Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Discrete Representation of Visual Shapes in the Brain

Kausik Si, Ph.D., Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Role of Prion-like Molecule in Persistence of Memory 

2008-2010

Jeremy Dasen, Ph.D., New York University School of Medicine
Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity in the Vertebrate Spinal Cord

Wesley Grueber, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center
Dendritic Field Patterning by Attractive and Repulsive Cues

Greg Horwitz, Ph.D., University of Washington
Magnocellular Contributions to Color Processing

Coleen Murphy, Ph.D., Princeton University
Molecular Characterization of Long-Term Memory Maintenance with Age

Bence Olveczky, Ph.D., Harvard University
Functional Organization of Neural Circuits Underlying Sensorimotor Learning

Liam Paninski, Ph.D., Columbia University
Using Advanced Statistical Techniques to Decipher Population Codes

Bijan Pesaran, Ph.D., New York University
Deciding Where to Look and Where to Reach 

2007-2009

Stephen A. Baccus, Ph.D., Stanford University Medical School
Functional Circuitry of Neural Coding in the Retina

Karl A. Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University Medical School
Multi-Channel Fast Optical Interrogation of Living Neural Circuitry

Gilbert Di Paolo, Ph.D., Columbia University Medical Center
A Novel Approach for Rapid Chemically-Induced Modulation of PIP2 Metabolism at the Synapse

Adrienne Fairhall, Ph.D., University of Washington
Intrinsic Contributions to Adaptive Computation and Gain Control

Maurice A. Smith, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard University
A Computational Model of Interacting Adaptive Processes to Explain Properties of Short- and Long-term Motor Learning

Fan Wang, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
Molecular and Genetic Analyses of Mammalian Touch Sensation

Rachel Wilson, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
The Biophysical and Molecular Basis of Central Synaptic Transmission in Drosophila 

2006-2008

Thomas Clandinin, Ph.D., Stanford University Medical School
How are Salient Visual Cues Captured by Changes in Neuronal Activity?

James DiCarlo, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Neuronal Mechanisms Underlying Object Recognition During Natural Viewing

Florian Engert, Ph.D., Harvard University
The Neuronal Basis of Visually Induced Behavior in the Larval Zebrafish

Youxing Jiang, Ph.D., University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center
Molecular Mechanisms of Ion Selectivity in CNG Channels

Tirin Moore, Ph.D., Stanford University Medical School
Mechanisms of Visuospatial Attention and Working Memory

Hongjun Song, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Mechanisms Regulating Synaptic Integration of Newly Generated Neurons in the Adult Brain

Elke Stein, Ph.D., Yale University
Converting Netrin-1-Mediated Attraction to Repulsion through Intracellular Crosstalk 

2005-2007

Athanossios Siapas, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Cortico-Hippocampal Interactions and Memory Formation

Nirao Shah, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Representation of Sexually Dimorphic Behaviors in the Brain

Aravinthan Samuel, Ph.D., Harvard University
A Biophysical Approach to Worm Behavioral Neuroscience

Bernardo Sabatini, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Synaptic Regulation by Neuromodulatory Systems

Miriam Goodman, Ph.D., Stanford University
Understanding the Force-Sensing Machinery of Touch Receptor Neurons

Matteo Carandini, Ph.D., The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute
Dynamics of Population Response in Visual Cortex 

2004-2006

Ricardo Dolmetsch, Ph.D., Stanford University
Functional Analysis of the Calcium Channel Proteome

Loren Frank, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
The Neural Correlates of Learning in the Hippocampal – Cortical Circuit

Rachelle Gaudet, Ph.D., Harvard University
Structural Studies of Temperature-sensing TRP Ion Channels

Z. Josh Huang, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Subcellular Targeting of GABAergic Synapses

Kang Shen, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University
Understanding the Molecular Code for Target Specificity in Synapse Formation

David Zenisek, Ph.D., Yale University
Investigation of the Role of the Synaptic Ribbon in Exocytosis 

2003-2005

Michael Brainard, Ph.D. University of California, San Francisco
Behavioral and Neural Mechanisms of Plasticity in Adult Birdsong

Joshua Gold, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The Neural Basis of Decisions that Flexibly Link Sensation and Action

Jacqueline Gottlieb, Ph.D. Columbia University
Neural Substrates of Vision and Attention in Monkey Posterior Parietal Cortex

Zhigang He, Ph.D. Children’s Hospital
Exploring the Mechanisms of Axon Regeneration Failure in the Adult Control Nervous System

Kristin Scott, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
Taste Representations in the Drosophila Brain 

2002-2004

Aaron DiAntonio, M.D., Ph.D., Washington University
Genetic Analysis of Synaptic Growth

Marla Feller, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Homeostatic Regulation of Spontaneous Activity in the Developing Mammalian Retina

Bharathi Jagadeesh, Ph.D., University of Washington
Plasticity of Object and Scene Selective Neurons in the Primate Inferotemporal Cortex

Bingwei Lu, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
A Genetic Approach to Neural Stem Cell Behavior

Philip Sabes, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
The Neural Mechanisms and Computational Principles of Visuomotor Adaptation in Reaching

W. Martin Usrey, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Functional Dynamics of Feedforward and Feedback Pathways for Vision 

2001-2003

Daniel Feldman, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Synaptic Basis for Whisker Map Plasticity in Rat Barrel Cortex

Kelsey Martin, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Communication Between the Synapse and the Nucleus During Long-lasting Synaptic Plasticity

Daniel Minor, Jr., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
High-resolution Studies of Ion Channel Regulation

John Reynolds, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Neural Mechanisms of Visual Feature Integration

Leslie Vosshall, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
The Molecular Biology of Odor Recognition in Drosophila

Anthony Wagner, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mechanisms of Memory Formation: Prefrontal Contributions to Episodic Encoding 

2000-2002

John Assad, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Long- and Short-term Memory Effects on the Encoding of Visual Motion in Parietal Cortex

Eduardo Chichilnisky, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Color and Motion Perception: Ensemble Signaling by Identified Cell Types in Primate Retina

Frank Gertler, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Role of Cytoskeletal Regulatory Proteins in Axon Outgrowth and Guidance

Jeffry Isaacson, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Synaptic Mechanisms of Central Olfactory Circuits

Richard Krauzlis, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Coordination of Voluntary Eye Movements by the Superior Colliculus

H. Sebastian Seung, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Memory and Multistability in Biological Networks

Jian Yang, Ph.D., Columbia University
Potassium Channel Permeation and Gating Studied with Novel Backbone Mutations 

1999-2001

Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
Molecular Regulation of NMDA Receptors

Jennifer Raymond, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
In Vivo Physiological Analysis of Mutations that Affect Cerebellum-dependent Learning

Fred Rieke, Ph.D., University of Washington
Gain Control and Feature Selectivity of Retinal Ganglion Cells

Henk Roelink, Ph.D., University of Washington
Sonic Hedgehog Signal Transduction in Brain Malformations Induced by Cyclopamine

Alexander Schier, Ph.D., New York University School of Medicine
Mechanisms of Forebrain Patterning

Paul Slesinger, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Identification of Molecular Interactions Involved in the G Protein Regulation of Potassium Channels

Michael Weliky, Ph.D., University of Rochester
The Role of Correlated Neuronal Activity in Visual Cortical Development

1998-2000

Paul Garrity, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Axon Targeting in the Drosophila Visual System

Jennifer Groh, Ph.D., Dartmouth College
Neural Coordinate Transformations

Phyllis Hanson, M.D., Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
The Role of Molecular Chaperones in Presynaptic Function

Eduardo Perozo, Ph.D., University of Virginia School of Medicine
High-resolution Structural Studies of the K+ Channel Pore

Wendy Suzuki, Ph.D., New York University
Spatial Functions of the Macaque Parahippocampal Cortex

1997-1999

Ulrike I. Gaul, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Cellular and Molecular Aspects of Axon Guidance in a Simple in Vivo System

Liqun Luo, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
Molecular Mechanisms of Dendrite Development: Studies of GTPases Rac and Cdc42

Mark Mayford, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Regulated Genetic Control of Synaptic Plasticity, Learning, and Memory

Peter Mombaerts, M.D., Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Mechanisms of Axon Guidance in the Olfactory System

Samuel L. Pfaff, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Molecular Control of Vertebrate Motor Neuron Axon Targeting

David Van Vactor, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Analysis of Genes that Control Motor Axon Guidance in Drosophila

1996-1998

Paul W. Glimcher, Ph.D., New York University
Neurobiological Basis of Selective Attention

Ali Hemmati-Brivanlou, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Molecular Aspects of Vertebrate Neurogenesis

Donald C. Lo, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
Neurotrophin Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

Earl K. Miller, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Integrated Functions of Prefrontal Cortex

Tito A. Serafini, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Isolation and Characterization of Growth Cone Targeting Molecules

Jerry C.P. Yin, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
CREB Phosphorylation and the Formation of Long-term Memory in Drosophila

1995-1997

Toshinori Hoshi, Ph.D., University of Iowa
Gating Mechanisms of Voltage-dependent Potassium Channels

Alex L. Kolodkin, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Molecular Mechanisms of Growth Cone Guidance: Semaphorin Function During Neurodevelopment

Michael L. Nonet, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
Genetic Analysis of Neuromuscular Junction Development

Mani Ramaswami, Ph.D., University of Arizona
Genetic Analysis of Presynaptic Mechanisms

Michael N. Shadlen, M.D., Ph.D., University of Washington
Sensory Integration and Working Memory

Alcino J. Silva, Ph.D., Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Cellular Mechanisms Supporting Memory Formation in Mice

1994-1996

Rita J. Balice-Gordon, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Activity Dependent and Independent Mechanisms Underlying Synapse Formation and Maintenance

Mark K. Bennett, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Regulation of the Synaptic Vesicle Docking and Fusion Machinery by Protein Phosphorylation

David S. Bredt, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Physiologic Functions of Nitric Oxide in Developing and Regenerating Neurons

David J. Linden, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Cellular Substrates of Information Storage in the Cerebellum

Richard D. Mooney, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center
Cellular Mechanisms of Avian Vocal Learning and Memory

Charles J. Weitz, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Molecular Biology of the Mammalian Circadian Pacemaker

1993-1995

Ben Barres, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
Development and Function of Glia

Allison J. Doupe, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
A Neural Circuit Specialized for Vocal Learning in Songbirds

Ehud Y. Isacoff, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Molecular Studies on K+ Channel Phosphorylation in Vertebrate Central Neurons

Susan K. McConnell, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
Isolation of Layer-specific Genes from Mammalian Cerebral Cortex

John J. Ngai, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Analysis of the Topography of Specific Olfactory Neurons and the Coding of Olfactory Information

Wade G. Regehr, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
The Role of Presynaptic Calcium in Plasticity at Central Synapses

1992-1994

Ethan Bier, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Molecular Genetics of Neurogenesis

Linda D. Buck, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Neuronal Identity and Information Coding in the Mammalian Olfactory System

Gian Garriga, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Cell Interactions in the Outgrowth of the C.elegans HSN Axons

Roderick MacKinnon, M.D., Harvard Medical School
Subunit Interactions in Potassium Channel Gating

Nipam H. Patel, Ph.D., Carnegie Institution of Washington
The Role of Gooseberry During Drosophila Neurogenesis

Gabriele V. Ronnett, M.D., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The Mechanisms of Olfactory Signal Transduction

Daniel Y. Ts’o, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Optical Imaging of Neuronal Mechanisms of Visual Behavior

1991-1993

Hollis T. Cline, Ph.D., University of Iowa Medical School
Regulation of Neuronal Growth by Neurotransmitter and Protein Kinases

Gilles J. Laurent, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Compartmentalization of Local Neurons in Insect Sensory-motor Networks

Ernest G. Peralta, Ph.D., Harvard University
Muscarinic Acetylcholine Receptor Signaling Pathways in Neuronal Cells

William M. Roberts, Ph.D., University of Oregon
Ion Channels and Intracellular Calcium in Hair Cells

Thomas L. Schwarz, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
The Genetics of VAMP and p65: A Dissection of Transmitter Release in Drosophila

Marc T. Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Purification, Cloning, and Characterization of a Chemoattractant that Guides Developing Axons in the Vertebrate Central Nervous System

1990-1992

John R. Carlson, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine
Molecular Organization of the Drosophila Olfactory System

Michael E. Greenberg, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Electrical Stimulation of Gene Expression in Neurons

David J. Julius, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Molecular Genetics of Serotonin Receptor Function

Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Mechanisms Underlying Long-term Potentiation in the Hippocampus

John D. Sweatt, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Molecular Mechanisms for LTP in the CA1 Region of Rat Hippocampus

Kai Zinn, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
Molecular Genetics of Axon Guidance in the Drosophila Embryo

1989-1991

Utpal Banerjee, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Neurogenetics of R7 Cell Development in Drosophila

Paul Forscher, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine
Signal Transduction at the Neuronal Membrane-cytoskeletal Interface

Michael D. Mauk, Ph.D., University of Texas Medical School
The Role of Protein Kinases in Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity

Eric J. Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine
Molecular Characterization of the Locus Coeruleus

Barbara E. Ranscht, Ph.D., La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation
Molecular Analysis of Chick Cell Surface Glycoproteins and Their Role in Nerve Fiber Growth

1988-1990

Michael Bastiani, Ph.D., University of Utah
Watching Growth Cones Make Choices in the Face of Adversity

Craig E. Jahr, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University
Molecular Mechanisms of Excitatory Synaptic Transmission

Christopher R. Kintner, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Molecular Basis of Neural Induction in Amphibian Embryos

Jonathan A. Raper, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania Medical Center
Indentification of Molecules Involved in the Control of Growth Cone Motility

Lorna W. Role, Ph.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Modulation of Neuronal Acetylcholine Receptors

Charles Zuker, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Signal Transduction in the Visual System

1987-1989

Aaron P. Fox, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Hippocampal Calcium Channels: Biophysical, Pharmacological, and Functional Properties

F. Rob Jackson, Ph.D., Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology
Molecular Basis of Endogenous Timing Mechanisms

Dennis D.M. O’Leary, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
Studies of Neocortical Development Focused on Areal Differentiation

Tim Tully, Ph.D., Brandeis University
Molecular Cloning of the Drosophila Short-term Memory Mutant Amnesiac and a Search for Long-term Memory Mutants

Patricia A. Walicke, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Hippocampal Neurons and Fibroblast Growth Factor

1986-1988

Christine E. Holt, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Axonal Pathfinding in the Vertebrate Embryo

Stephen J. Peroutka, M.D., Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
Novel Anxiolytic Interactions with Central Serotonin Receptor Subtypes

Randall N. Pittman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Biochemical, Immunological, and Video Analysis of Neurite Outgrowth

S. Lawrence Zipursky, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
A Molecular Genetic Approach to Neural Connectivity

1985-1987

Sarah W. Bottjer, Ph.D., University of Southern California
Neuronal Mechanisms of Vocal Development

S. Marc Breedlove, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Andogenic Influences on the Specificity of Neural Connections

Jane Dodd, Ph.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Cellular Mechanisms of Sensory Transduction in Cutaneous Afferent Neurons

Haig S. Keshishian, Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine
Determination and Differentiation of Identified Peptidergic Neurons in the Embryonic CNS

Paul E. Sawchenko, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Steroid-dependent Plasticity in the Neuropeptide Expression

1984-1986

Ronald L. Davis, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine
Cyclic AMP System Genes and Memory in Drosophila

Scott E. Fraser, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
Theoretical and Experimental Studies on Nerve Patterning and Synaptic Competition

Michael R. Lerner, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine
Memory and Olfaction

William D. Matthew, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
An Immunological and Biochemical Analysis of Proteoglycans in the Nervous Systemthe Embryonic CNS

Jonathan D. Victor, M.D., Ph.D., Cornell University Medical College
An Evoked-response Analysis of Central Visual Processing in Health and Disease

1983-1985

Richard A. Andersen, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Visual-spatial Properties of the Light-sensitive Neurons of the Posterior Parietal Cortex in Monkeys

Clifford B. Saper, M.D., Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
Organization of Cortical Arousal Systems

Richard H. Scheller, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
Investigations of the Function, Organization, and Regulated Expression of Neuropeptide Genes in Aplysia

Mark Allen Tanouye, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology
The Molecular Biology of Potassium Channel Genes in Drosophila

George R. Uhl, M.D., Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital
Memory-related Neurotransmitter Systems: Clinicopathological Correlation and Regulation of Specific Gene Expression

1982-1984

Bradley E. Alger, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine
Depression of Inhibition May Contribute to Potentiation in the Studies in the Rat Hippocampal Slice

Ralph J. Greenspan, Ph.D., Princeton University
Genetic and Immunological Studies of Cell Surface Molecules and Their Role in Neuronal Development in the Mouse

Thomas M. Jessell, Ph.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
The Role of Neuropeptides in Sensory Transmission and Nociception

Bruce H. Wainer, M.D., Ph.D., University of Chicago
Cortical Cholinergic Innervation in Health and Disease

Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The Anatomical/Pathological Basis of the Memory Deficits in Dementia

1981-1983

David G. Amaral, Ph.D., The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Studies of the Development and Connectivity of the Hippocampal

Robert J. Bloch, Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine
Macromolecules Involved in Synapse Formation

Stanley M. Goldin, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Reconstitution, Purification, and Immunocytochemical Localization of Neuronal Ion Transport Proteins of Mammalian Brain

Stephen G. Lisberger, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Plasticity of the Primate Vestibulo-ocular Reflex

Lee L. Rubin, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
Regulatory Mechanisms in Nerve-Muscle Synapse Formation

1980-1982

Theodore W. Berger, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Brain Structures Involved in Human Amnesia: Study of the Hippocampal-Subicular-Cingulate Cortical System

Thomas H. Brown, Ph.D., City of Hope Research Institute
Quantal Analysis of Synaptic Potentiation in Hippocampal Neurons

Steven J. Burden, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
The Synaptic Basal Lamina at Developing and Regenerating Neuromuscular Synapses

Corey S. Goodman, Ph.D., Stanford University School of Medicine
The Differentiation, Modification, and Death of Single Cells During Neuronal Development

William A. Harris, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
Axonal Guidance and Impulse Activity in Development

1978-1980

Robert P. Elde, Ph.D., University of Minnesota Medical School
Immunohistochemical Studies of Limbic, Forebrain, and Hypothalmic Peptidergic Pathways

Yuh-Nung Jan, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Studies on Slow Potential Using Autonomic Ganglia as Model Systems

Eve Marder, Ph.D., Brandeis University
Neurotransmitter Mechanisms of Electrically Coupled Cells in a Simple System

James A. Nathanson, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University School of Medicine
Hormone Receptor Mechanisms in the Regulation of Cerebral Blood Flow and Cerebrospinal Fluid Circulation

Louis F. Reichardt, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Genetic Investigations of Nerve Function in Culture

1977-1979

Linda M. Hall, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Role of Cholinergic Synapses in Learning and Memory

Charles A. Marotta, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
Control of Brain Tubulin Synthesis During Development

Urs S. Rutishauser, Ph.D., The Rockefeller University
The Role of Cell-Cell Adhesion in Development of Neural Tissues

David C. Spray, Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Neural Control of Feeding in Navanax

Louis F. Reichardt, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco
Genetic Investigations of Nerve Function in Culture