Announcements, Awards
and Honors

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In Memoriam: Sir Colin Blakemore

We regretfully announce the passing of Professor Sir Colin Blakemore on June 27, 2022. “The Dana Foundation mourns the loss of long-time friend, colleague, and adviser,” said Steven Hyman, MD, chairman of the foundation’s board of directors. “To the Dana Foundation, Colin was an inspiring leader in public outreach, working through the Dana Alliances in the US and Europe to initiate and elevate meaningful dialogue between neuroscientists and the public.  His work has helped to make society healthier while building support for neuroscience among policy makers and members of the public. Importantly, Colin, effectively encouraged the neuroscience community around the world to follow suit.” See also our In Memoriam article.

In Memoriam: John Q. Trojanowski

We regretfully announce the passing of John Q. Trojanowski, M.D., Ph.D., on February 8, 2022, at 75 years of age. The William Maul Measey – Truman G. Schnabel, Jr., MD, Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Trojanowski contributed to our understanding of  Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal degeneration, and related disorders. In 1991, Dr. Trojanowski and Dr. Virginia M.-Y. Lee—his wife and scientific partner—discovered that the regions of tangles in Alzheimer’s disease are malformations of the protein, tau.

In Memoriam: Sir Michael Rutter

It is with deep sympathy that we announce the passing of Emeritus Professor Sir Michael Rutter, on October 23, 2021. Described as the ‘father of Child Psychiatry,’ Professor Rutter’s 55-year career with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London is largely credited with laying the foundations of Child Psychiatry and Developmental Psychopathology. Among his many contributions to his field are his work on studying deprivation’s effects on child development, and his research which helped establish the genetic factors of autism.

DABI Members Elected to National Academy of Medicine 2021

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) announced the election of four Dana Alliance members: David Clapham, M.D., Ph.D., Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Mary Elizabeth Hatten, Ph.D., Rockefeller University; Lennart Mucke, M.D., Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease; and Reisa Sperling, M.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital. They join 96 other individuals as part of the 2021 class of new members, all of whom are recognized as having made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.

In Memoriam: Robert Grossman

We regretfully announce the passing of Robert Grossman, on October 7, 2021, aged 88. Known for developing advances in the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and head and spinal chord injuries, Dr. Grossman was a full clinical member of the Research Institute at Houston Methodist until his passing. As a 30-year-old neurosurgery resident at Parkland Hospital, Dr. Grossman was one of two neurosurgeons who examined a mortally wounded President Kennedy in 1963.

In Memoriam: James F. Toole

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of James F. Toole, on September 12, 2021. He was 96. As co-chair of the Working Group on Presidential Disability, Dr. Toole recommended establishing working protocols to identify presidential impairment, taking care to balance public disclosure and patient confidentiality. A professor of Neurology at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine for most of his professional career, Dr. Toole also authored Cerebrovascular Disorders, the first textbook on the subject.

In Memoriam: Elaine Snell

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Elaine Snell, whose contributions to the Dana Foundation spanned 25 years beginning in 1997 when she spearheaded press efforts to inform the public, media, and neuroscience community of the launch of the European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB). Snell’s skill in science communication contributed to many Dana Foundation and EDAB efforts, including the success of our Brain Awareness Week Campaign throughout Europe. She helped develop more than 150 programs for public debate and dialogue on issues in contemporary science at Dana Centre at the London Science Museum. With Foundation support, Snell ran the press office at FENS Form since their first meeting in 1998. From 2012 to 2015, she served as chief operating officer of the British Neuroscience Association and subsequently served in the same capacity for the International Neuroethics Society.

We are indebted to Elaine for all she did for the Dana Foundation, EDAB and the neuroscience community. She will be greatly missed.

Marian Joëls Awarded ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize 2021

In recognition of her constant efforts in fostering gender equality in neuroscience, Alliance Member Marian Joëls, University of Groningen, was awarded the ALBA-FKNE Diversity Prize 2021. The ALBA Network and the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence award the prize to a scientist or group that has made outstanding contributions to promoting equality and diversity in neuroscience.

In Memoriam: Allan Hobson

We regretfully announce the passing of Allan Hobson Ph.D., formerly at Harvard Medical School (HMS), on July 7, 2021. He was 88 years old. With more than four decades as Professor of Psychiatry at HMS, Hobson was well-known for his research on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and the activation-synthesis hypothesis, a model attributing the synthesis of dream creation to brain activation during REM sleep.

In Memoriam: Jerome Kagan

We are saddened to announce the passing of Jerome Kagan Ph.D., Harvard University, on May 10, 2021, at the age of 92. Revered by peers as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, Professor Kagan’s research linking temperament to biology was some of the first of its kind. An unabashed science enthusiast, Professor Kagan was very active in Dana Alliance outreach efforts and author of “The Temperamental Thread,” a Dana Press book. 

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.