University Professor Eve Marder to receive 2023 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize

Groundbreaking neuroscientists Eve Marder and Lily Jan will jointly receive the 2023 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize. The award, which recognizes outstanding women scientists, will be presented on September 20 by Ellen V. Futter, president emerita of the American Museum of Natural History, in a ceremony on The Rockefeller University campus in New York. 

Eve Marder is a University Professor and the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Biology at Brandeis, and winner of the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience and the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience.

“This year’s awardees are two outstanding scientists who have made fundamental contributions to neurobiology,” said Michael W. Young, chair of the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize selection committee and winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Brandeis professors Michael Rosbash and Jeff Hall. “Eve Marder has revealed how populations of neurons interact to produce behavior and how behavioral flexibility can be built into neural circuits, and Lily Jan’s work led to the first molecular description of the potassium channel, which allows a nerve to carry electrical impulses.”

Marder is most recognized for her work understanding the modulation of neural networks. Studying the lobster stomatogastric nervous system—consisting of just 30 neurons that control the muscles in the lobster digestive tract—Marder has made profound discoveries about the dynamics of neuronal circuits, which balance the needs for both homeostasis and plasticity. She served as president of the Society for Neuroscience as well as on the working group for President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine.

Best known for her discovery that peptides can act as neurotransmitters to transfer messages from one neuron to another, Jan is the Jack and DeLoris Lange Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her research on neurotransmitters, her work has provided landmark advances in understanding the function and regulation of potassium channels, which, among other cellular roles, modulate neuronal signaling in the brain. Jan is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Academia Sinica (Taiwan).

This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, which was founded by the late Paul Greengard, the Vincent Astor Professor of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at Rockefeller, and his wife, Ursula von Rydingsvard. A lifelong advocate for gender equality, Greengard donated his monetary share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Rockefeller and, in partnership with generous supporters, established an annual award to recognize outstanding women scientists. The prize, which includes a $100,000 honorarium, is named for Greengard’s mother, who died during his birth.

To attend the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize ceremony and learn more about the award, register here. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.


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