Brandeis neuroscientist Eve Marder '69 awarded prestigious Kavli Prize

The biennial prize for scientific innovation cites Marder’s research in mechanisms of modulation of nervous system function

Photo/Mike Lovett

Eve Marder

Eve Marder '69, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis, has been awarded the renowned Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for her groundbreaking research on the nervous system.

“The Kavli Prize is one of the most prestigious in scientific research,” said Brandeis Interim President Lisa Lynch. “To have it awarded to Eve Marder, who is not only a pioneering neuroscientist at Brandeis but also an alumna, is a tremendous honor for the university. On behalf of Brandeis, I congratulate Professor Marder along with this year’s other Kavli Prize laureates.” 

Marder’s research on small neural circuits found in lobsters and crabs has revolutionized our understanding of the fundamental nature of neuronal circuit operation, including how neuromodulators control behavioral outputs and how the stability of circuits is maintained over time.  She shares the Kavli Prize in neuroscience this year with two other internationally acclaimed scientists: Michael Merzenich from the University of California, San Francisco and Carla Shatz from Stanford University.

 “With the other two Kavli Prize laureates, Marder defined the mechanisms by which brains remain stable while allowing for change during development and learning,” Marder’s citation reads.

Marder began studying the stomatogastric nervous system of the West Coast spiny lobster as a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego in the early 1970s. Today, she oversees her own lab at Brandeis, where she conducts her innovative research with the participation of post-docs, graduate students and undergraduates.

The prizewinners were announced by the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in a ceremony Wednesday evening in Oslo – Thursday morning on the east coast. The Kavli Prizes are awarded biennially in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. 

The Kavli Prize is a partnership between the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, the US-based Kavli Foundation and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Each laureate receives a gold medal and scroll, and each field splits $1 million. The Crown Prince of Norway will formally present the prizes in a ceremony Sept. 6.

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