Institute News Winter 2017 Issue 40

McGovern Institute Awards Scolnick Prize to Catherine Dulac

Professor Catherine Dulac of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology on the MCB campus at Harvard University on August 19, 2015. Photo: Harvard MCB
Professor Catherine Dulac of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology on the MCB campus at Harvard University on August 19, 2015. Photo: Harvard MCB

The winner of the 2017 Scolnick Prize is Catherine Dulac of Harvard University. Dulac is recognized for her discovery of mammalian pheromone receptors and for tracing the pathways by which pheromones act on the brain to control behavior. In work that began while she was a postdoc, Dulac identified two large families of pheromone receptors, which are expressed in a specialized part of the olfactory epithelium known as the vomeronasal organ. She has gone on to study the mechanisms by which sensory neurons respond to pheromones, and the neural circuits by which these volatile chemical signals control a range of stereotypic and sex-specific behaviors, including courtship, mating, parental behavior and aggression.

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