Header NAS Award in the Neurosciences

Scheduled for presentation in 2016.

Established by the Fidia Research Foundation

The National Academy of Sciences Award in Neurosciences is awarded every three years to recognize extraordinary contributions to the progress of the neuroscience fields, including neurochemistry, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology, developmental neuroscience, neuroanatomy, and behavioral and clinical neuroscience. The award is supported by the Fidia Research Foundation and is presented with a $25,000 prize.

Seymour S. Kety and Louis Sokoloff became the first recipients of the award in 1988 for their work developing techniques to measure brain blood flow and metabolism.  The techniques developed remain valuable to the study of brain function and maintain application in clinical medicine. Kety’s nitrous oxide method to measure the brain’s blood flow revolutionized research on the human brain.  His theory of inert gas exchange between blood and tissues sought to measure more localized measurements in the brain rather than the brain’s as a whole, which is what the nitrous oxide method measured. In translating the theory to method, Sokoloff collaborated with Kety to translate Kety’s theory to an operational method.  The work completed by the two in made huge strides in the field of neuroscience.

The most recent NAS Award in the Neurosciences was presented in 2013 to Solomon H. Snyder.  Snyder was honored for pioneering the technique of reversible ligand binding to identify the neurotransmitters and drugs receptors in the brain, and his elucidation of psychotropic agents’ actions. Snyder is also known for his establishment of gasses as a new class of neurotransmitters. His isolation and molecular cloning of nitric oxide synthases has led to major insights into the neurotransmitter functions of nitric oxide throughout the body.  Snyder’s work to illuminate and identify neurotransmitters and receptors has proved to be an extraordinary contribution to the progress of the neuroscience field.


Solomon H. Snyder (2013)
For the elucidation of fundamental mechanisms of chemical signaling, including opiate receptors, NO signaling, and other neurotransmitter/receptor interactions.

Roger A. Nicoll (2010)
For his seminal discoveries elucidating cellular and molecular bases for synaptic plasticity in the brain.

Jean-Pierre Changeux (2007)
For the pioneering discovery that fast-acting neurotransmitters mediate their effects through allosteric regulation of the neurotransmitter protein.

Brenda Milner (2004)
For her pioneering and seminal investigations of the functioning of the temporal lobes and other brain regions in learning, memory, and speech.

Seymour Benzer (2001)
For his pioneering contributions which have brought neurogenetics to maturity. Benzer's discoveries in fruit flies have identified specific genes contributing to behaviors of central importance.

Vernon B. Mountcastle (1998)
For his discovery of the columnar organization of the mammalian cerebral cortex and for original studies relating behavior to function of single cells in higher cortical areas.

Walle J. H. Nauta (1994)
For development of a powerful method for determining connectivity among specific brain sites and thus establishing now-classical circuits in the limbic system.

Paul Greengard (1991)
For his discovery of the central role played by neuronal phosphoproteins in normal brain function as well as in neuropsychiatric and related disorders.

Seymour S. Kety and Louis Sokoloff (1988)
For developing techniques to measure brain blood flow and metabolism -- valuable tools in the study of brain function that have major applications in clinical medicine.


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