The National Academy of Sciences honors scientist Eve Marder

The organization called Marder "one of the most influential neuroscientists of her generation."

Eve MarderPhoto: Heratch Ekmekjian

Eve Marder

Eve Marder '69, the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience, has received the prestigious National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Award in the Neurosciences.

In announcing the award, the NAS cited Marder as "one of the most influential neuroscientists of her generation." The organization also praised her role in supporting the careers of other researchers.

Her "impact on the people in her field is as important as her research," the NAS said in its press release. "Throughout her career she has served as a mentor to generations of neuroscientists and served the community on numerous other professional levels. She has also served as an important voice for young scientists."

"I was thrilled to learn of the NAS Award, as its previous recipients are some of the most influential and respected leaders in the field of neuroscience," Marder said.

Marder is only the second woman to receive this award since it was first established in 1988.

Her 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. Her laboratory now uses experimental and computational tools to study animal to animal differences in resilience to environmental perturbations.

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.

Marder's research was the focus of the recent book, "Lessons from the Lobster: Eve Marder's Work in Neuroscience" by independent scholar and writer Charlotte Nassim.

The other 17 researchers recognized this year by the NAS for their extraordinary contributions to science include Stanford University neuroscientist Liqun Luo PhD'93 who received the Pradel Research Award. 

Luo's work focuses on the logic of brain wiring using genetic tools.

As part of the NAS press release, Marder reflected on the importance she places on teaching and mentoring. She wrote:

For my entire scientific career I have been dedicated to the principle that outstanding science must go hand-in-hand with excellent education. To that end, I teach undergraduates and graduate students in the classroom, and my laboratory combines undergraduates, graduate students and postdocs who work together. I take pride in the accomplishments of my trainees of all levels, and hope to help each and every trainee find their way to success, in whatever role or venue best suits him or her. I believe that the skills and discipline that scientific inquiry engender will serve my trainees well, whether they continue in academic science, move into medicine, industry, politics, or other careers. I also believe that the pursuit of science in individual labs must be coupled with contributions to our joint community, because science as we now practice it is essentially a communal enterprise. Consequently, I have always combined editorial service, grant evaluation duties, and other activities with my own work.

The NAS will present Marder with the award at its 156th NAS Annual Meeting on April 28.

For more information on Marder and her research, see:

Brandeis neuroscientist Eve Marder '69 awarded prestigious Kavli Prize

Neuroscientist Eve Marder’s advice to aspiring scientists

Neuroscientist Eve Marder’s research chronicled in a new book

Brandeis biologist Eve Marder '69: My life as a scientist

Inside the Marder Lab

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