Phillip A. Sharp Lecture in Neural Circuits

sharp-websiteThe Phillip A. Sharp Lecture in Neural Circuits is an annual lecture in honor of Dr. Phillip Sharp, who served as founding director of McGovern Institute from 2000-2004. Sharp, who shared the 1993 Nobel Prize for his discovery of split genes, has also served as chair of the MIT Biology Department and head of MIT’s Center for Cancer Research (now the Koch Institute). He now holds the title of Institute Professor, the highest academic honor at MIT. As founding director of the McGovern Institute, he oversaw the planning for the institute’s home in Building 46 and the appointment of the founding faculty, including the recruitment of Robert Desimone as the permanent director in 2004.

In addition to his academic career, Sharp has also been a pioneer in the biotech industry, helping to found three companies. One of these is Biogen-Idec, whose generous support has made the new lecture possible. Biogen, as it was known prior to its 2003 merger with IDEC Pharmaceuticals, was one of the first biotechnology companies, and Sharp served on its board of directors for almost 30 years following its founding in 1978. During that time Biogen-Idec has been at the forefront of the biotech revolution, growing into a Fortune 500 company with over $4 billion in annual revenues. Its major current focus is now diseases of the nervous system, and we are delighted to highlight the company’s achievements and Phil’s contribution to its success through this lecture.

2018 Lecture

2018: Scott Sternson (HHMI, Janelia Research Campus)
April 25, 2018
"The Neurobiology of Need"

Past Speakers

2017: Larry Abbott (Columbia University)
March 20, 2017
"Unmarring the Perceptron: Lessons in Cerebellar Computing from Fish and Flies"

2016: Markus Meister (Caltech)
March 8, 2016
"Neural computations in the retina: from photons to behavior"
view poster | watch lecture

2015: Cornelia Bargmann (HHMI, The Rockefeller University)
March 2, 2015
"Themes and variations in circuits and behavior"
view poster | watch lecture

2014: May-Britt Moser (Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience)
"Grid cells, place cells and neural maps for space"
watch lecture

2013: Karel Svoboda (HHMI)
"The cortical circuits and neural codes underlying tactile sensation"
watch lecture

2012: Okihide Hikosaka (NIH)
"Choosing good objects -- a basal ganglia mechanism"
watch lecture