The Scolnick Prize is awarded annually by the McGovern Institute to recognize outstanding advances in the field of neuroscience. The prize is named in honor of Dr. Edward M. Scolnick, who stepped down as President of Merck Research Laboratories in December 2002 after holding Merck's top research post for 17 years. Dr Scolnick is now at the Broad Institute, where he established the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. He also serves as a member of the McGovern Institute’s scientific advisory board. The prize, which is endowed through a gift from Merck to the McGovern Institute, consists of a $150,000 award, plus an inscribed gift.
The winner is selected by a committee appointed by the director of the McGovern Institute. The current members are: Robert Desimone (McGovern Institute; chair); Joseph Coyle (McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School), H. Robert Horvitz (McGovern Institute); Nancy Kanwisher (McGovern Institute); Solomon Snyder (Johns Hopkins University); and Story Landis.
Calls for nominations are announced in the fall. Winners are announced early the following year, and the prize ceremony, which includes a public lecture, takes place in the spring.
2014: Huda Zoghbi (Baylor College of Medicine), for her research on the genetic and neural basis of human neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders.
2010: Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan (University of California, San Francisco), for their many contributions to understanding the genetic basis of brain function and development.
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2009: Jeremy Nathans (Johns Hopkins University), for his work on the molecular basis of human color vision.
2008: Michael Davis (Emory University), for his discoveries regarding the neural basis of fear and anxiety.
2007: David Julius (University of California, San Francisco), for identifying the receptors responsible for the perception of pain and temperature.
2006: Michael Greenberg (Harvard Medical School), for discoveries about the signaling mechanisms that underlie synaptic development and brain plasticity.
2005: Judith Rapoport (National Institute of Mental Health), for her work on the neurological basis of developmental disorders of childhood.
2004: Mark Konishi (California Institute of Technology), for providing fundamental insights into the brain mechanisms of sound localization.