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Marcus Raichle wins Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize
Date:1/27/2014

not doing anything not even thinking. He found that about 80 percent of the brain's chemical reactions happen in this resting state and that the neurons responsible for these reactions are connected to each other in very clear cut ways. That is, when we're doing nothing, our brain cells are busy chattering to each other.

"He called this the brain's 'default mode network,'" Snider said. "We now think that this network is very important in conditions such as schizophrenia and especially Alzheimer's disease."

The Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize, which carries a $10,000 cash award, is becoming increasingly well known among biomedical scientists. Four of its previous winners went on to win the Nobel Prize in either chemistry or physiology and medicine. One other Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize recipient went on to win the Kavli Prize, which to neuroscientists has become nearly as prestigious as the Nobel.

The Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize, established in 2000, is named after UNC professor emeritus Edward Perl, who discovered that a specific type of sensory neuron responded to painful stimuli. Before this, scientists thought that neurons responded to all stimuli and then the pain responses were sorted out in the spinal cord. The discovery had a major impact on the field of pain research, particularly in the development of pain medications.

Along with Dr. Snider, this year's Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize committee consisted of Tom Jessell, the Claire Tow Professor in the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University; Huda Akil, PhD, MBNI Distinguished University Professor and Quarton Professor of Neurosciences at the University of Michigan and co-director of the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute; Joe Gleeson, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurosciences at the University of California-San Diego; Rachel Wong, PhD, Professor of Biological Structure at the University of Washington;
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Contact: Mark Derewicz
mark.derewicz@unch.unc.edu
919-923-0959
University of North Carolina Health Care
Source:Eurekalert  

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