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Pioneer in neural development honored with the Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Prize
Date:2/19/2013

NEW YORK, NY (February 19, 2013) Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College have announced that the Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Developmental Psychobiology has been awarded to Carla Shatz, PhD, the Sapp Family Provostial Professor in Neurobiology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Shatz's work has advanced understanding of fundamental principles of early brain development with the discovery that neuronal activity prior to birth is essential for later formation and refinement of connections in the visual system. Her work has important implications for understanding how the visual system refines its connectionswork that has contributed to our understanding of critical periods of brain wiring in developmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Dr. Shatz's selection as this year's Sackler Prize recipient is in recognition not only of her pioneering achievements in the understanding of early brain development, but also of her leadership in the field of neuroscience and her track record of mentorship.

"Dr. Shatz has provided some of our most profound insights into the way the brain matures during early life, including the importance of neural activity in shaping development. Her work provides a blueprint for understanding how brain function is molded at very young ages. She is a wonderful pick for the prize that commemorates Dr. Mortimer D. Sackler's legacy and his passion for understanding the biological basis of neuropsychiatric disorders," said Jay Gingrich, MD, PhD, director of the Columbia Sackler Institute and the Sackler Institute Professor of Developmental Psychobiology at Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

"I am thrilled about this year's recipient of the prize. Not only has Dr. Shatz provided new insights into early brain development that have important implications for neu
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Contact: Karin Eskenazi
ket2116@columbia.edu
212-342-0508
Columbia University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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