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International award goes to researcher
19th annual Neuronal Plasticity Prize was awarded to MUSC’s Peter
Kalivas, Ph.D., and two other leading international scientists for
their research in the domain of molecular targets of drug abuse.
The other scientists receiving the award were Jean-Pierre Changeux of
the College de France and Institut Pasteur, Paris; and Eric J. Nestler
of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSMC) at
The EUR 60,000 (about $94,226) prize was awarded July 14 at the 6th
Forum of the European Neuroscience Societies in Geneva, Switzerland, by
an international jury led by Wolf Singer, M.D., of the Max-Planck
Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany.
“I am delighted to announce Jean-Pierre Changeux, Peter Kalivas and
Eric Nestler as just winners of this prize. The voting panel were
impressed with the quality of their research in this area,” Singer
said. “The Neuronal Plasticity Prize is recognized as a symbol of
excellence within neurological research. It has been awarded to some of
the best specialists in the field in its 19-year history, and we are
delighted to add Jean-Pierre Changeux, Peter Kalivas and Eric Nestler
to this distinguished list, in acknowledgment of their achievements.”
About the winners
- Kalivas is a professor and chair in MUSC’s Department of
Neurosciences. He is best known for his work to elucidate the molecular
adaptations and neurocircuitry that underlie addiction, with a focus on
characterizing the neuro-plasticity produced by chronic use of
addictive drugs in the prefrontal cortex and its glutamatergic
projections to the striatum. This work has characterized the
involvement of certain proteins in the postsynaptic density in
regulating addictive behaviors, such as NAC-1, Homer and AGS3.
Moreover, the drug-induced neuroplasticity in glutamate transmission
has become a source of potential pharmacotherapeutic targets for
treating addiction, including the cystine-glutamate exchanger,
glutamate transporter and metabotropic glutamate receptors.
- Changeux is emeritus professor at the Pasteur Institute and
at the College de France in Paris. He conducts studies on the
experimental basis and theoretical foundations of allosteric
interactions between topographically distinct sites in proteins, and
subsequently identifies the first protein receptor of a
neurotransmitter—the nicotinic receptor of acetylcholine—and
contributes to the understanding of its role in higher brain functions.
Established in 1983 under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the
mission of La Fondation Ipsen is to contribute to the development and
dissemination of scientific knowledge. Its mission is to durably
encourage interaction between research scientists and clinicians. The
ambition of La Fondation Ipsen is to trigger debate on major scientific
challenges for years to come. It has developed an important
international network of scientific experts who meet regularly at
meetings known as Colloques Medecine et Recherche. Six main themes are:
Alzheimer’s disease, neurosciences, longevity, endocrinology, the
vascular tree and oncology.
- Nestler is the Lou and Ellen McGinley Distinguished
Professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at UTSMC and a
member of the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences. He elucidated the effects of several
transcription factors on the mechanisms of addiction.
In 2007, La Fondation Ipsen started three new series of meetings in
partnership with Nature and the Salk Institute Biological Complexity,
Nature Emergence and Convergence, Cell and the Massachusetts General
Hospital Exciting Biologies. Since its beginning, La Fondation Ipsen
has organized more than 73 international conferences, published 65
volumes with renowned publishers and 199 issues of Alzheimer
Actualites. It has also awarded dozens of prizes and grants.
Friday, July 25, 2008
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