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2012 Karl Spencer Lashley Award

2012 Spring General Meeting
Eve Marder

The American Philosophical Society awarded the 2012 Karl Spencer Lashley Award to Eve Marder. The citation read: "in recognition of her comprehensive work with a small nervous system, demonstrating general principles by which neuromodulatory substances reconfigure the operation of neuronal networks."  The award was presented by the Society’s President, Clyde F. Barker, Donald Guthrie Professor, Department of Surgery, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Eve Marder has carried out pioneering work with a small nervous system, the stomatogastric ganglion of a decapod crustacean. She showed that a single neural circuit can produce a number of different outputs depending on the presence of specific neuromodulators. In addition, she has combined experimental and computational studies to identify the neurons and synapses in the circuit, to understand how the circuit works, and to explore broader issues such as how networks maintain stability across time.

Eve Marder's primary interest is in the intrinsic properties of individual neurons and their synaptic connections. She has carried out pioneering work elucidating the various mechanisms by which a similar circuit outputs can be produced both in multiple individual animals and in the same animal over time, and how, exactly, these networks can remain stable despite the continuing changes of a living organism. She has published seminal studies in neuronal homeostasis, rhythm generation, neuromodulation, computational neuroscience, and dynamic clamp technique. She is a member of both the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Marder is currently the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis University. She received her Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego in 1974.

The Karl Spencer Lashley Award was established in 1957 by a gift from Dr. Lashley, a member of the Society and a distinguished neuroscientist and neuropsychologist.  The award is made in recognition of work on the integrative neuroscience of behavior.  At the time of his death, Dr. Lashley was Emeritus Research Professor of Neuropsychology at Harvard University and Emeritus Director of the Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology in Florida.  Lashley's contemporaries considered his experimental work as daring and original.  His entire scientific life was spent in the study of behavior and its neural basis, or as he phrased it: “the discovery of principles of nervous integration which are as yet completely unknown.”  Lashley’s famous experiments on the brain mechanisms of learning, memory and intelligence helped inaugurate the modern era of integrative neuroscience.

The Lashley Award Selection Committee consisted of Larry R. Squire (chair), Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology at University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Research Career Scientist at VA Medical Center, San Diego; John E. Dowling, Gordon and Llura Gund Professor of Neurosciences at Harvard University; William T. Newsome, Professor of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Fernando Nottebohm, Dorothea L. Leonhardt Professor, Laboratory of Animal Behavior, Rockefeller University.