Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel Will Deliver Breinin Lecture at Emory University
M.D., winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 for
his contributions to the fundamental processes of learning and memory,
will deliver the annual Goodwin and Rose Helen Breinin Lecture in Basic
Sciences at Emory University. The lecture will take place Thursday,
Feb. 21 at 4:00 p.m. in the Woodruff Health Sciences Center Administration
Building auditorium, located at 1440 Clifton Rd. on the Emory campus.
A reception will immediately follow the lecture.
Using the relatively simple
neural circuitry comprising the withdrawal reflexes in the sea slug
Aplysia, Dr. Kandel and his colleagues identified fundamental cellular
mechanisms that result in the modifiability of nerve cell signaling.
These changes lead to alterations in the learned behaviors of habituation,
sensitization and classical conditioning. Dr. Kandel and his colleagues
found that learning produces changes in behavior not by altering basic
circuitry, but by adjusting the strength of particular synapses. They
then identified sets of genes and proteins that stabilize synaptic connections
and trigger growth of new ones. More recently, his laboratory has extended
this approach to more complex forms of spatial learning in the hippocampus
of genetically modified mice.
Dr. Kandel, who is university
professor of physiology and cell biophysics, psychiatry, biochemistry
and molecular biophysics at Columbia University, shared the Nobel Prize
with Arvid Carlsson of the University of Goteborg, Sweden and Paul Greengard
of The Rockefeller University, New York. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute
senior investigator, Dr. Kandel is a member of both the National Academy
of Science and American Philosophical Society and is a winner of the
National Medal of Science, the Lasker Award, the Wolf Prize, the Gairdner
Award and the Harvey Prize. As co-editor of the definitive resource
book Principles of Neural Science, he has helped to coalesce the entire
field of neuroscience.
Dr. Kandel was born in Vienna,
Austria in 1929, emigrating to the United States in 1939. He graduated
from Harvard and received his M.D. from New York University School of
Medicine. He began his research career at the National Institutes of
Health and continued with residency training in psychiatry at Massachusetts
Mental Health Center, Harvard Medical school, and the Institut Morey
in Paris. He has held faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and
the New York University School of Medicine. At Columbia, he was founding
director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.
The Breinin Lectureship is
named for Goodwin Breinin and Rose Helen Breinin. Dr. Goodwin Breinin,
a1941 graduate of Emory University School of Medicine, is chair of ophthalmology
at New York University School of Medicine and director of the Kirby
Institute of Ophthalmology. He was a pioneer in developing new treatments
for glaucoma and is a 1993 recipient of the Emory Medal Emory University's
highest honor. Rose Helen Breinin's career includes work with the New
York City Housing Authority, in public health community service and
as a museum researcher and volunteer. The Breinin Lecture is free and
open to the public.