The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters awarded the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for 2012 to Ann M. Graybiel, Ph.D., Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for “elucidating basic neuronal mechanisms underlying perception and disease.” She was only one of seven scientists chosen for the prize that recognize scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience, and include a cash award of one million dollars in each field. This year's laureates were selected for making fundamental contributions to our understanding of the outer solar system, the differences in material properties at nano- and larger scales, and how the brain receives and responds to sensations such as sight, sound and touch.
Dr. Graybiel is a two-time NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee. Her first grant was given for “Neural Substrates of Depression & Schizophrenia; the second for “A Novel Molecular Approach to the Study of Striosome-Matrix Function.” Dr. Gabriel’s work is recognized as providing fundamental new insights not only into normal brain function, but also some of the abnormalities that underlie disorders such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder and drug addiction.The recipients’ names were announced in Oslo, Norway and streamed live at a special breakfast hosted by the World Science Festival (WSF) in New York City. John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy addressed the audience. Following the announcement of the 2012 Kavli Laureates, Richard Besser, M.D., ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor, led a program with prominent researchers who are exploring the next wave of opportunity and advancement in the Kavli Prize fields of Astrophysics, Nanoscience and Neuroscience. A podcast of the ceremony is available at the WSF website.