The Ninth Perl

Michael E. Greenberg, Ph.D., is the winner of the 9th Annual Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize.  (See our Feb. 2 blog post “Perl Today, Tomorrow Nobel?” for more on the prize.) 

Michael Greenberg, PhD

Michael Greenberg, PhD

Greenberg is the Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor and chair of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. 

The ninth Perl goes to Greenberg for his discovery of signaling pathways underlying activity-related gene transcription in neurons.  Changes in patterns of electrical activity in neurons have long been thought to uderlie learning, memory and other cognitive functions. Greenberg’s discoveries have defined the mechanism by which neural activity regulates neuronal gene expression.

Recently,  several activity-related genes have been implicated in rare familial cases of autism,  said Dr. William Snider, director of  the UNC Neuroscience Research Center and head of the selection committee for the prize.  “Dr. Greenberg’s discoveries have profound implications for how we learn and for how learning is disrupted in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism,” he said.

School of Medicine dean Dr. William L. Roper will present the award May 6th on the UNC medical campus at 11:00 p.m. in G202, Medical Biomedical Research Building.

Les Lang

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