FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., Elected to National Academy of Sciences
(GREAT NECK, N.Y. – June 14, 2012) Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council Member, is among the 84 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a prestigious non-profit organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to advancing science and promoting its uses for the greater good.
The Academy acts as an official advisor to the federal government on issues related to science and technology. Election to NAS membership is one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a scientist and recognizes those who have made distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
Dr. Deisseroth, associate professor of bioengineering and psychiatry at Stanford University, invented optogenetics with the help of a NARSAD Young Investigator Grant. Optogenetics involves the use of light to rapidly open and close the membrane channels that make neurons fire and cease firing and allows for observation of the resulting behavior in animals. Thomas R. Insel, M.D, director of the National Institute of Mental Health says about this new technology, “understanding the circuitry underlying mental disorders is a daunting task but one that becomes more attainable with each new discovery about the complex circuits involved in behavior. Optogenetics has revolutionized systems neuroscience by providing precise control over circuitry in awake, behaving animals.”
Herbert Pardes, M.D., founding and current president of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Scientific Council, a volunteer group of 132 of the world’s leading mental health researchers (including two Nobel Prize winners), delighted at the news, saying: “We are extremely proud of this recognition of Karl Deisseroth’s brilliant contributions and commitment to the field of brain and behavior research. Our Scientific Council is made up of the most extraordinary talent in the field, uniquely positioning it to steer continued advancements through its selection of NARSAD Grantees each year.”
Dr. Deisseroth is the 12th Scientific Council Member to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He joins:
Huda Akil, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2002
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Susan G. Amara, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2010
University of Pittsburgh
Fred H. Gage, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2009
Paul Greengard, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 1992
Eric R. Kandel, M.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 1998
Mary-Claire King, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2009
University of Washington
Robert C. Malenka, Ph.D., M.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2001
Stanford University School of Medicine
Bruce S. McEwen, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2002
Pasko Rakic, M.D., Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 2006
Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., D.Sc., D.Phil. (Hon. Causa) – Scientific Council Member Since 1987
Johns Hopkins University
Leslie G. Ungerleider, Ph.D. – Scientific Council Member Since 1998
National Institute of Mental Health
“We are thrilled that the breakthrough work of Dr. Deisseroth, which he says was 'kick started' by his NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, has been recognized by the National Academy of Sciences,” said Benita Shobe, Foundation President and CEO.
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants that will lead to advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. Over a quarter of a century, the Foundation has awarded nearly $300 million worldwide to more than 3,100 scientists carefully selected by their prestigious Scientific Council.
Please visit our website for more information: www.bbrfoundation.org
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