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Shigetada Nakanishi receives $500,000 Gruber Neuroscience Prize

November 4, 2007, San Diego, California Over the last forty years, Shigetada Nakanishi has unraveled many of the molecular secrets that underpin the function of the human nervous system.

His work has created new tools for researchers, and new drug targets for pharmacologists.

Today at 2.30 pm he will receive the Gruber Neuroscience Prize at the Society for Neuroscience conference in San Diego.

In the 2007 Gruber Lecture he will address the fundamental question of how synaptic transmission is regulated and integrated in the neural network.

A full understanding of the workings of the human brain is still decades or more away. But Shigetada Nakanishis work is bringing it closer.

He is an unusual researcher who has both created sophisticated tools to help us investigate the brain, and used these tools to make remarkable discoveries about the molecular processes used throughout the nervous system: our senses, movement control, cognition, learning, memory and much more.

Nakanishi will be joined on stage by two early career neuroscientists who will each receive the Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience, a $US50,000 scholarship.

Hanover Medical School researcher Hubert Lim is developing a new kind of bionic ear a device that will restore hearing by bypassing the ear and directly stimulating an area which processes auditory input deep in the brain.

Yulia Lerner is trying to determine how our brains make sense of the complicated world our eyes behold. The Azerbaijan-born scientist - currently based at New York University - is using functional MRI to explore the involvement of different brain regions in this process.

Shigetada Nakanishi is laying the foundations for us to understand how our brains work from the molecular level through to the complex interactions between networks of neurons, says Peter Gruber, Chairman of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

The Neuroscience Prize honors leading scientists for distinguished contributions in the fields of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. The Foundations other international prizes are in Cosmology, Genetics, Justice, and Womens Rights.


Contact: Niall Byrne
Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

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