Media contacts:
Lilli Kim, 404/727-7709,
December 17, 2002


Great Teachers Lecture Series:
"How We Remember, Why We Forget"

WHO: Stuart M. Zola, PhD
Director, Yerkes National Primate Research Center Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University Research Career Scientist, Atlanta V.A. Medical Center

WHAT: Emory's Great Teachers Lecture Series

WHERE: Miller-Ward Alumni House, 815 Houston Mill Road. Free parking.

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2003, 7:30 p.m.

CALL: 404/727-6000

Having spent much of his scientific career studying the brains of human patients and non-human primates, neuroscientist Stuart M. Zola, PhD, has achieved remarkable insights into one of the brainís most essential but elusive functions: memory. Our memories are more fluid and malleable than we may realize, and false memories can seem astonishingly real, as Dr. Zola will demonstrate. But it is actually the loss of the ability to remember, known as amnesia, that has helped scientists unlock the secrets of memory.

As part of Emoryís Great Teachers Lecture Series, Dr. Zola will explain how memory is formed, stored, and retrieved, and how memory function can be damaged or lost due to injury or illness. He also will discuss different types of memory, the effects of growth and aging on cognitive development and decline, and exciting new research programs aimed at discovering more about how memory problems occur and how they might be treated or prevented.

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, at the Emory Miller-Ward Alumni House, located at 815 Houston Mill Road. It is free, open to the public, and does not require reservations. Parking is available on site. Call 404-727-6000 for further information.

While at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Zola and his colleagues developed an animal model of human amnesia that conclusively identified a group of interconnected brain structures critical to memory function. His research has contributed significantly to our understanding of the memory loss in humans that results from head trauma and that characterizes progressive diseases such as Alzheimerís, as well as less severe memory problems that often accompany depression, chronic stress, and normal aging.

A part of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University, the Yerkes Center is one of eight designated National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) that are supported by the National Institutes of Health. As the director of the Yerkes NPRC, Dr. Zola oversees broadly based research programs, funded by $40.2 million in grants, that address health issues such as AIDS, malaria and other infectious diseases, cocaine addiction, cardiovascular disease, childhood visual deficits, organ transplantation, and cognitive development and decline. Scientists at Yerkes also study social behavior in non-human primates. With over 3,000 non-human primates and 2,500 rodents, Yerkes serves as a vital resource for collaborative scientists at Emory and at other research institutions throughout the U.S. and the world.

Before joining Emory in September 2001, Dr. Zola was a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, and also held the position of Research Career Scientist at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in San Diego. He is a member of several scientific and professional societies, including the Society for Neuroscience and the National Association for Biomedical Research, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of the journals Cognitive Brain Research and Behavioral and Neural Biology. He received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1965 and his masterís (1969) and doctoral (1973) degrees in neuroscience from Northeastern University in Boston.

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