Tributes to biologist Eve Marder '69

In the wake of a major scientific award, her colleagues offer praise and insight into her accomplishments.

On June 2, The Kavli Foundation announced its pick of Eve Marder to receive the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, one of the most prestigious awards in the sciences.

We asked some of Marder’s colleagues to comment on her accomplishments and contributions to to her field.

Sacha Nelson, professor of biology

Eve’s work has consistently elucidated new fundamental principles of circuit function that have broad applicability to understanding the flexibility, plasticity and stability of all nervous systems. That she has been able to do this studying one circuit of a few dozen interconnected neurons controlling chewing motions in the stomach of the crab is all the more astounding and inspiring.

Leslie Griffith, Nancy Lurie Marks Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Volen National Center for Complex Systems

By any standard, Eve is one of the most intellectually influential neuroscientists of her generation. She has catalyzed paradigm shifts in fields as diverse as neural circuit function, computational neuroscience and neuronal homeostasis. Her work has provided a platform for much of our current cellular understanding of circuit function and stability and the mechanisms by which circuits negotiate the flexibility/stability trade-off.

Gina Turrigiano, professor of biology and winner of a MacArthur ‘genius’ award

Eve's contributions to neuroscience have transformed the perception of neuronal circuits as static “connectomes" to our current understanding of them as flexible and dynamic entities. With stunning regularity, Eve’s work has demonstrated the kind of creativity and insight that have generated major new breakthroughs in our understanding of the interplay between stability and variability in microcircuit function. Her ideas have proved to be highly generalizable and have fundamentally changed the way neuroscientists think about these problems. Most scientists would be thrilled to have made even one such breakthrough over the course of their careers. Eve is truly remarkable for the sustained and varied impact of her scientific contributions.

Adriane G. Otopalik, graduate student in Marder’s lab

Eve is an outstanding scientist and mentor. Her pioneering work in invertebrates has provided fundamental insights regarding plasticity, flexibility, variability and homeostasis in neuronal circuits.

Categories: Research, Science and Technology

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