Navigation Links
MIT's McGovern Institute honors Emory neuroscientist for contributions to psychiatry

The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT announced today that Michael Davis, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta GA, will be the 2008 recipient of the Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience. The Scolnick Prize is awarded annually by the McGovern Institute to recognize an individual who has made outstanding advances in the field of neuroscience. Dr. Davis, who is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, will receive the 2008 prize for his work on the neural basis of fear and its applications to psychiatric research.

We are delighted to honor Mike Davis with this award, said Robert Desimone, director of the McGovern Institute and chair of the selection committee. Not only has he made many important contributions to basic neuroscience, his work also represents one of the best examples of bench-to-bedside translational research in psychiatry.

In work that spans three decades, Davis has provided fundamental insights into the neural basis of fear and anxiety. His early research exploited the startle reflex of rats in response to a sudden noise. He showed that this response is sensitive to drugs that reduce anxiety in humans, and in a classic 1982 paper he traced the entire brain pathway that underlies the startle reflex, paving the way for detailed studies of the neural mechanisms that underlie anxiety.

Like Pavlovs dogs that were conditioned to associate a bell with food, rats and humans can learn fearful associations. The fear conditioning paradigm has been immensely influential in neuroscience, providing for example one of the earliest and best demonstrations of the importance of synaptic changes in learning. Davis has contributed importantly to this field, showing that fear learning is controlled by a class of molecules known as NMDA receptors, acting within a brain structure called the amydgala.

The flip side of associative learning is extinction, a process by which learned associations such as fearful memories eventually disappear. Extinction is not merely the gradual decay of memory. Instead, Davis has shown that extinction involves an active process that, like the acquisition of fear memories, depends on NMDA receptors. Understanding the balance between acquisition and extinction of fearful memories is of great importance for psychiatric conditions such as anxiety disorders and PTSD, and based on his studies with rats, Davis proposed that drugs that promote NMDA receptor signaling could be used therapeutically to enhance fear extinction in humans.

In collaboration with clinical colleagues at Emory, Davis recently confirmed this idea, showing that the drug D-cycloserine can enhance the effects of psychotherapy as a treatment for fear of heights. This approach also shows promise for treating other disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); Davis is currently testing D-cycloserine, in combination with virtual reality-based psychotherapy, on Iraq veterans suffering from PTSD.

The McGovern Institute will award the Scolnick Prize to Dr. Davis on Monday April 14, 2008, at 4pm. Dr. Davis will deliver a lecture entitled "Neurobiology of Fear, Anxiety and Extinction: Implications for Psychotherapy", followed by a reception, at the McGovern Institute in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex, 43 Vassar Street (building 46, room 3002) in Cambridge. The event is free and open to the public.


Contact: Gayle Lutchen
McGovern Institute for Brain Research

Related medicine news :

1. Sutter Admits: Closing St. Lukes Likely to Reduce Charity Care
2. Michael J. Fox Foundation Commits up to $3.8 Million to Develop Gene Silencing Neuroprotective Treatment for Parkinsons Disease
3. Takeda submits new drug application for alogliptin (syr-322) in the US
4. XTENT Submits CE Mark Registration to Market Custom NX(R) Drug-Eluting Stent System in Europe
5. ImaRx Therapeutics Submits Urokinase Data to FDA Supporting Extended Expiration Dating
6. Millennium Submits sNDA for VELCADE(R) (Bortezomib) for Injection for the Treatment of Front-Line Multiple Myeloma
7. ISTA Pharmaceuticals Submits New Drug Application for Xibrom(TM) QD (once-daily)
8. Health Care Bill Omits Access to Spiritual Care
9. Activating protein enhances average lifespan, limits age-related disease in mice
10. SGX Pharmaceuticals Submits Investigational New Drug Application for SGX523, a Highly Potent, Selective, Orally Bioavailable cMET Inhibitor
11. Gates Foundation Commits to Expansion of HIV Prevention in China
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... NC (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... practices in 2016. In 2016, expected coding changes are likely to include new ... service codes. It’s not easy to understand the effects of code changes in ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Bayco Products, Inc today announced the introduction ... each. Available in a choice of three different colors; red ( NSP-1632 ), yellow ( ... run up to 18 hours in constant-on mode, or 27 hours in blinking strobe mode ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Gift ideas for the natural ... All products are available on Amazon or its webstore. , "We love the ... USDA Certified Organic Sesame Oil for Oil Pulling," says Kathy Heshelow, founder of ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Orion, Clarkston, Metamora, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... ... football games, basketball games. Things that as a Mother and Wife would love to ... was no mistake that I just happened to call Dr. Zaidan first. They have ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... ... NewsWatch featured X-wing as part of its monthly Tech Report, which features the ... special reporter for NewsWatch, conducted the review and shared with viewers how Woody Guthrie’s ... flying cars are about to become a reality. Where’s the idea from? With inspiration ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015   Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... Company (NDSC) today jointly announced a new integrated ... utilize the American College of Radiology,s (ACR) Imaging 3.0™ ... comply with current and emerging value-based payment models ... By combining clinical decision support, radiology reporting and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... N.J. , Nov. 30, 2015  Novartis will ... at the 57 th American Society of Hematology ... lymphomas and myelomas as well as supportive care, including ... addition to personalized cell therapies. The ASH Annual Meeting ... Florida . Novartis Oncology . "We ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... REHOVOT, Israel , Nov. 30, 2015 ... focused on acquiring and developing innovative therapies for ear, ... of Keith A. Katkin as chairman of ... Flesher , chief executive officer for OticPharma, Ltd.  "Keith ... As chairman, he will be able to share this ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: