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McGovern Institute Presents 3rd Annual Scolnick Prize Lecture to Michael Greenberg

Leading researcher from Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School to discuss signaling networks that control synapse development and cognitive function

April 11, 2006–The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT will present the third annual Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience on April 25, 2006 to Dr. Michael Greenberg, a leading researcher at Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and a world leader in molecular neurobiology. Dr. Greenberg will present a public lecture entitled “Signaling Networks that Control Synapse Development and Cognitive Function” from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., followed by reception, at the McGovern Institute in the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Complex, 43 Vassar Street (building 46) in Cambridge. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Greenberg directs the Program in Neurobiology within the Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School Department of Neurology. He is widely regarded as a world leader in molecular neurobiology and has made seminal discoveries that have resulted in entirely new avenues of investigation in neural development, the neural response to injury and disease, and the search for new treatments for neurological disorders and brain injuries.

“Many laboratories worldwide are pursuing new leads based on the discoveries Dr. Greenberg has made regarding signaling pathways in neurons and their response to growth factors and neurotransmitters.”

“Dr. Greenberg exemplifies the intersection of basic neuroscience research with areas of clinical importance, which will clearly impact the effort to alleviate the human suffering brought on by brain diseases,” said Dr. Robert Desimone, Director of the McGovern Institute. “Many laboratories worldwide are pursuing new leads based on the discoveries Dr. Greenberg has made regarding signaling pathways in neurons and their response to growth factors and neurotransmitters.” These signaling pathways help regulate the development and function of the nervous system, including axon guidance, cell fate determination, synaptic development, and neuronal survival within the developing and adult nervous system.

The Scolnick Prize, awarded annually by the McGovern Institute, provides an important focus for the international neuroscience community, calling attention to the best new approaches to understanding the brain.

“I am honored to be selected for the Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience,” said Dr. Greenberg. “It is especially meaningful to me because much of my research on signaling mechanisms that control nervous system development was inspired early on by approaches that Dr. Scolnick developed for studying signaling pathways that regulate cell proliferation and cancer development.”

The Scolnick 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 & Co., Inc.’s top research post for 17 years. It was established through a grant from The Merck Company Foundation to the McGovern Institute and consists of an award of $50,000 given each year to one recipient who is an outstanding leader in the international neuroscience research community.

About the McGovern Institute at MIT

The McGovern Institute at MIT is a neuroscience research institute committed to improving human welfare and advancing communications. Led by a team of world-renowned, multi-disciplinary neuroscientists, The McGovern Institute was established in February 2000 by Lore Harp McGovern and Patrick J. McGovern to meet one of the great challenges of modern science – the development of a deep understanding of thought and emotion in terms of their realization in the human brain. Additional information is available at: http://web.mit.edu/mcgovern/.

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