Marder wins 2013 Gruber Prize in Neuroscience

The Gruber Foundation announced today that Professor Eve Marder  will receive the 2013 Gruber Prize in Neuroscience. The Gruber Neuroscience Prize “honors scientists for major discoveries that have advanced the understanding of the nervous system”.  Marder is being honored for her studies of  central pattern generation in the stomatogastric ganglion in crustaceans, a model system that has been influential in shaping the understanding of neural circuits in all organisms, and for her work at the intersection of theoretical and experimental neuroscience, with tools such as the dynamic clamp.

eve-sm-crop-2bMarder is Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis and Head of the Division of Science, as well as past president of the Society for Neuroscience. The Gruber Prize, awarded annually, includes a cash award of $500,000. The award ceremony will take place at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in November, 2013.

On the BRAIN “dream team”

In a recent article, Professor Eve Marder talked to the Boston Globe about the “BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies)” initiative recently announced by President Obama. Marder is a member of the advisory committee to the NIH director on the initiative. Are the scientific minds behind the initiative “living on the moon” or will this be the key step in developing new tools for understanding big neural networks in vivo? Only time will tell.

Local scientists on brain mapping dream team reflect on challenges, opportunity (Globe)

Eve Marder joins Obama neuroscience ‘brain trust’ (BrandeisNOW)

Eve Marder wins 2012 Karl Spencer Lashley Award

photograph (c) American Philosophical Society 2012; Frank Margeson, photographer.

Professor Eve Marder was awarded  the 2012 Karl Spencer Lashley Award by the American Philosophical Society at their annual meeting in Philadelphia in April, “in recognition of her comprehensive work with a small nervous system, demonstrating general principles by which neuromodulatory substances reconfigure the operation of neuronal networks.” Marder, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience, currently serves in the capacity of Head of the Division of Science at Brandeis, yet manages to direct and inspire an incredibly productive laboratory of students and postdocs who continue to extend our understanding how circuit function arises from the intrinsic properties of individual neurons and their synaptic connections, using their favorite model system, the  crustacean stomatogastric nervous system. This award follows close on the heels of the George A. Miller Prize from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, awarded in March 2012.

See also story at Brandeis NOW.

Marder to receive George A. Miller Prize at CNS 2012

Eve Marder, Professor of Biology and Head of the Division of Science, has been named the recipient of the 2012 George A. Miller Prize by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. The George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience was established in 1995 by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society to honor the innovative scholarship of George A. Miller whose many theoretical advances have so greatly influenced the discipline of cognitive neuroscience. The prize is awarded to the nominee whose career is characterized by distinguished and sustained scholarship and research at the cutting-edge of their discipline and that has in the past, or has the potential in the future to revolutionize cognitive neuroscience.

According to Leslie Griffith, Chair of Biology:

The awarding of this prize to Dr. Marder is a testament to the impact that her work has had on neuroscience at all levels. Over the years, her work on the stomatogastric ganglion, a small crustacean motor circuit, has provided insights into general principles of how all nervous systems function.  From the first descriptions of circuit plasticity and neuromodulation to her more recent work on the significance of biological variability, Marder has been a leader in establishing important principles of brain function.

Homarus pyloric rhythm (image by Dirk Bucher)

Postdoc with confessed aversion to genetics

“… now inspiring a new generation of neurophysiologists”

There’s a nice story on the ADInstruments website about Stefan Pulver (PhD ’09) and Nick Hornstein (’11) and the tools they developed in the Griffith lab for “Optogenetics in the Teaching Laboratory” using Drosophila and channelrhodopsin-2. Stefan is currently in Cambridge (England) doing a postdoc, and Nick is starting his MD/PhD at Columbia real soon now.

Long receives HHMI fellowship to develop new protein degradation strategy

Marcus Long, a 3rd yr PhD student in the Graduate Program in Biochemistry who works in the Hedstrom Lab, has been awarded a Howard Hughes International Student Predoctoral Research Fellowship for 2011-2013. This award, which is open only to students at selected universities, is given to roughly 40 international students in the life sciences per year in the US. The receipt of this award reflects strongly on the quality of research conducted in Brandeis, and particularly the interdisciplinary approach taken by principal investigator, Prof. Liz Hedstrom. Application for the award requires a clear research plan, which in this instance involves a novel protein degradation strategy (called IMPED), which was pioneered by Prof Hedstrom and her laboratory. Marcus will play his part in a collaborative effort  (alongside lab mates Rory Coffey, Devi Gollapali and established Hedstrom Group collaborators) to understand the mechanism and limitations of this new methodology.

Mehmet Fisek (BS/MS ’08), an alumnus of the Marder lab and undergraduate Neuroscience program at Brandeis, was also among the 48 winners named. Mehmet is currently doing graduate research in Rachel Wilson’s lab in the Dept. of Neurobiology at Harvard, working on olfactory neurophysiology in Drosophila.

See also story at Brandeis NOW.

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