2016 Neuroscience Laureate Biographies

The Kavli Prize - Neuroscience

Eve Marder

Eve Marder

Eve Marder is the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience in the Biology Department.

Marder grew up in New York and New Jersey, and gained her first degree in biology from Brandeis University, in 1969. She earned her PhD at the University of California, San Diego in 1975, and then worked at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and the École Normale Supérieure, Paris. She then returned to the Biology Department at Brandeis University, becoming a full professor in 1990.

She has pioneered understanding of how a neural circuit can generate the necessary rhythmic firing patterns that control rhythmic muscle movements such as breathing, walking, and passage of food through the gut.

Marder’s much feted contributions to neuroscience include membership of the US National Academy of Sciences and fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her awards include the Women in Neuroscience Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award (2002), the Gruber Award in Neuroscience (2013), and the George A. Miller Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (2012).

Photo: © Wikipedia Commons

Michael Merzenich

Michael Merzenich

Michael Merzenich is Professor Emeritus in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco.

Born in Lebanon, Oregon, Merzenich gained a first degree in science at the University of Portland in 1964, and earned a PhD in physiology at Johns Hopkins University in 1968. After postdoctoral research at Madison, Wisconsin, he joined the UCSF Department of Otolaryngology, working on a prototype for today’s electronic cochlear implants. He was Co-Director of the Coleman Memorial Laboratory, then Co-Director of the Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience at UCSF until retirement in 2007.

From 1996 to 2003 he led the company Scientific Learning, then co-founded Posit Science, developing computer-based ‘brain training’ for enhancing cognitive performance.

Merzenich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine. His awards include the Zülch Prize of the Max-Planck Institute, the Purkinje Medal, and the Karl Spencer Lashley Award.

Photo: © University of California, San Francisco

Carla Shatz

Carla Shatz

Carla Shatz is Professor of Neurobiology and of Biology at Stanford University, and Director of Bio-X.

Shatz grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. She did her undergraduate degree at Radcliffe College, and studied with neurophysiologists Hubel and Wiesel at Harvard (who later won a Nobel Prize in 1981). After graduating in 1969, Shatz had a Marshall Scholarship to study physiology at University College London. She then became the first woman to gain a PhD from the Harvard Department of Neurobiology in 1976.

In 1978 Shatz joined the Stanford University School of Medicine, and moved to UC Berkeley in 1992. She left the west coast in 2000 to become the first woman to lead a basic science department at Harvard Medical School, the Department of Neurobiology. In 2007, Shatz returned to Stanford to head Bio-X.

Shatz is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Royal Society, UK. Her awards include the Gill Prize in Neuroscience (2006), the Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience (2011), and the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience (2015).

Photo: © Steve Fisch