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Neuroscience Graduate Program at UCSF


We have a new website at http://neurograd.ucsf.edu which will launch on August 30, 2016!! Please visit it for the current information.   We are leaving this here for archival use.


April 20, 2016
Michael Brainard and John Rubenstein, have been elected to the American Academny of Arts and Sciences . (Link to article)

November 24 2015
Louis J. Ptáček and William Seeley, have been selected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society and publisher of Science and three other peer-reviewed journals. (Link to article)

November 2015
Karunesh Ganguly and Zack Knight, have been awarded the prestigious New Innovator Award, one of the High-Risk, High-Reward Research grants from the NIH. (Link to article)

September 2015
Dena Dubal, has been selected as the recipient of the 2015 Grass Foundation-ANA Award in Neuroscience in recognition of her work on longevity and brain resilience. She will be honored at the American Neurological Association’s 140th Annual Meeting in Chicago in September. (Link to article)

August 2015
Loren Frank, is one of this year's recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators. (Link to article)

June 30, 2015
Eddie Chang, has been awarded the 2015 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, recognizing him for his work in establising the neural code for human language processing. (Link to article)

March 4, 2015
Jeanne Paz, has been awarded the prestigious Michael Prize, recognizing her significant contributions to the field of epilepsy. (Link to article)

February 10, 2015
Louis J. Ptáček, is the recipient of the American Society for Clinical Investigation’s prestigious Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award. Ptáček is being honored for his research leading to the development of the field of ion channel defects, commonly known as channelopathies. (Link to article)

December 12, 2014
Ryan Dalton, has been awarded a Miller Research Fellowship by the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at UC Berkeley. (Link to article)

November 10, 2014
Roger Nicoll receives Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience. (Link to article)

October 29, 2014
Neuroscience students take top prizes in UCSF's first ever Three Minute Thesis competition! (Link to article)

Osama Ahmed, Nirao Shah Lab, wins 1st prize
Sama's research focuses on the question of how living things recognize others of their species. Osama’s presentation link

Chuchu Zhang, David Julius Lab, wins 2nd prize
Chuchu’s  research looks at how different neuronal signals combine to create distinct pain sensations. Chuchu’s presentation link

August 5, 2014
Ryan Dalton is the first recipient of the J. Michael Bishop Fellowship. (Link to article)

February 2014
Osama Ahmed, along with four other UCSF graduate students and a postdoctoral scholar, all members of the Science Policy Club at UCSF, won a national video competition sponsored by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). The video, called “Stand Up for Science” conveys the importance of the federal government’s investment in biomedical and biological research. (Link to article)

January 14, 2014
First Discovery Fellows Awardees: (Link to article)
Osama Ahmed
Ryan Dalton
Robert Lindquist
Karuna Meda
Kartik Pattabiraman
May Tran

January 2014
Allison J. Doupe, recipient of the Pradel Research Award from the National Academy of Sciences. The Pradel Award is given annually to recognize and further outstanding research in neuroscience. (Link to article)

October 22, 2013
Lennart Mucke, received the ARCS Foundation's 2013 Pacesetter Award for his lifelong dedication to overcoming Alzheimer's disease. (Link to article)

September 2013
Jonah Chan, is awarded the Barancik Prize for Innovation in MS Research. (Link to article)

August 2013
Ryan Dalton, recipient of the Genentech Predoctoral Research Fellowship.

May 2013
David Morgan, is elected Fellow of the Royal Society. (Link to article)

May 17, 2013
Hillel Adesnik and Mark Churchland, former NS students received the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience.

May 9, 2013
Michael Brainard, is selected as an HHMI Investigator. (Link to article)

April 24, 2013
Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. (Link to article)

April 5, 2013
The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation has named neurologist Stephen L. Hauser, MD, the winner of its 2013 Charcot award, the top international prize for multiple sclerosis (MS) research. (Link to article)

April 2013
Samuel Barondes, is a recipient of the Holly Smith Awards. (Link to article)

April 2013
2013 NSF Awardees:
Meryl Horn
Alan Leggitt
Joanne Cheung
Becky Clarkson
Nathan Harris
Shan Meltzer

Honorable Mentions:
Ken Burke
David Leib
Mari Sosa
Karuna Meda

November 2012
Loren Frank, who has been selected to receive the 2013 Gill Center Young Investigator Award from Indiana University. This award is presented annually to "a young investigator whose career to date shows extraordinary promise."

October 15, 2012
Robert H. Edwards and David Julius are the newly elected members of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service in the areas of medical sciences, health care and public health. (Link to article)

September 13, 2012
Vikaas S. Sohal receives a National of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator award for his project titled: Reverse Engineering the Prefrontal Microcircuit. (Link to article)

May 1, 2012
UCSF neurologist Louis Ptacek, MD, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), for his research on the biology and genetics of several human diseases and disorders -- from epilepsy and migraine to sleep disorders and jet lag.

He joins 83 other new members and 21 foreign associates, the Academy announced today.

Roger Nicoll is the winner of the 2012 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience.

Allan Basbaum is awarded the UCSF Academic Senate's 2nd Annual Faculty Research Lecture - Translational Science
In selecting Dr. Basbaum to receive this award, the Senate recognizes the contributions of faculty who translate bench science to a bedside clinical practice directly benefiting both patients and legions of other clinicians worldwide.
Dr. Basbaum’s lecture, “The Neurological Basis of Pain and Its Control,” will be held on the UCSF Parnassus Campus on April 17, 2012 (3:30-5pm) in Cole Hall. (Link to article)

2012 NSF Awardees:
Sarah Robinson
Jeffrey Knowles (incoming Fall 2012)

Honorable Mentions:
Jeanette Wickelgren
Lynne Tye
Ashley Smart
Kenton Hokanson
Nathan Harris
Allison Coker
Becky Clarkson

Mark von Zastrow was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. (Link to Article)

Linda Wilbrecht was named by President Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her studies on the effects of drug use and stress on the adolescent brain, which are aimed at developing therapies for addiction. (Link to Article)

Edward Chang, MD, is a 2011 recipient of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award, one of the most competitively sought-after sources of research funding made available to young academic scientists through NIH. (Link to Article)

November 2011
Loren Frank and Anatol Kreitzerwill receive the 2011 Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award. (Link to Article)

Kaveh Ashrafi, received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Haile T. Debas Academy of Medical Educators. (Link to Article)

Neuroscience Student, Karuna Meda, the first recipient of the Chuan Lyu Chancellor's Fellowship. This is a new fellowship for 2011-2012 that will support an entering graduate student during their first year of graduate study in the biological and biomedical sciences. (Link to Article)

The following Neuroscience Students also received an award:

May Tran, Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Scholarship - This scholarship rewards excellence in research. Selection is based primarily on the exceptional promise of the nominee to make a significant contribution to the advancement of science, and to the material and intellectual welfare of all people.

Bradley Colquitt, UC Cancer Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC Fellowship - This fellowships rewards outstanding potential for cancer research. Selection is based on the research accomplishments of the applicants, prior academic achievements, and potential for future contributions to cancer research. These fellowships are intended to support students immediately after they advance to candidacy.

Frances Loucks, Fletcher Jones Fellowhsip - This fellowship rewards excellence in research and selection is based on research accomplishments. Prior academic achievements and potential for future contributions to the health science field also are considered.

Rebecca Clarkson, Ralph H. Kellogg Endowed Chancellor's Fellowship - This is a new fellowship for 2011-2012 that will support an entering graduate student during their first year of graduate study, who shows outstanding promise for research in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Neuroscience Student, Jason Tien, receives the UC President's Award for Outstanding Student Leaders. Jason was recognition for his cross-campus collaboration while serving on the systemwide Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Workgroup. (Link to Article)

Yiriy Kirichok get Nature cover for his article "Progesterone activates the principal Ca2+ channel of human sperm." PDF

Lily and Yuh Nung Jan have been awarded the Tenth Annual Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences. Link to PDF.

Dr. Stanley Pruisner will receive the National Medal of Science in November.
This is wonderful news and a well-deserved honor for Dr. Prusiner, whose discovery of prions was recognized by his Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1997 and is considered a seminal achievement in 20th century medical research.  He has since continued his visionary research with his colleagues in the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, a program which supports the next generation of scientists who work on cures for neurodegenerative disorders at UCSF.
Link to info on the UCSF website

The Neuroscience Gratuate Program congratulates David Julius, PhD, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Physiology, for being awarded the $1 million Shaw Prize for "his seminal discoveries of molecular mechanisms by which the skin senses painful stimuli and temperature and produces pain hypersensitivity."

The Shaw Prize is regarded as the preeminent international recognition for scientific achievement among awards originating in Asia.  In 2004, UCSF's Yuet Wai Kan, MD, won the Shaw Prize, along with Herbert Boyer, PhD, a former UCSF molecular biologist and the founder of Genentech.

Full coverage of the story is published in UCSF Science Café.

Robert Messing, M.D., has been elected to serve as president of the Research Society on Alcoholism. Full Story

The Neuroscience Graduate Program congratulates Nirao Shah on his promotion to Associate Professor.

The Neuroscience Graduate Program congratulates Kaveh Ashrafi for his promotion to Associate Professor.

National Academy of Sciences

Ulrike Heberlein was elected to the National Academy of Sciences along with 4 other peole from UCSF.

Robert Fletterick, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Donald Ganem, Departments of Microbiology/Immunology and Medicine
Lewis Lanier, Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Zena Werb, Department of Anatomy
Ulrike Heberlein, Department of Anatomy (in the category of foreign associate)

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
UCSF Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann and three UCSF faculty members are among the 229 leaders in the sciences, humanities and arts, business, public affairs, and the nonprofit sector who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).
Those from UCSF included in this year’s class are:

Samuel Herbert Barondes, MD, Jeanne and Sanford Robertson Professor of Neurobiology and Psychiatry and director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry;

Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, chancellor and the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor;

Howard L. Fields, MD, PhD, professor of neurology, physiology and psychiatry; Endowed Chair in Pharmacology of Addictions, Principal Investigator, Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center; and

Deepak Srivastava, MD, director of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Wilma and Adeline Pirag Distinguished Professor in Pediatric Developmental Cardiology at UCSF.

2010 NSF Awardees:

Osama Ahmed
Josh Bagley
Alison Barker

Honorable Mentions:
Shanni Silberberg
Phil Parker
Julia Margulis

Melody Wu, Neuroscience Graduate Student in the Shah Lab has recived the Harold M. Weintraub Award for 2010.
Click here for more info.

David Julius, Ph.D.

David Julius, Ph.D., a pioneer in sensory neurobiology, will receive the Passano Award for his discovery of the molecular mechanism of thermosensation and his elucidation of the manner in which temperature and pain sensation are integrated. Dr. Julius’ work on thermosensation began when he and his colleagues identified an ion channel, TRPVI, that is highly expressed in pain sensing neurons and that can be specifically activated by capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the “hot” taste of chili peppers. The Julius laboratory showed that TRPVI acts as a molecular thermometer, with channel opening induced at temperatures somewhat above normal body temperature. For more information:  http://passanofoundation.org/#/2010-award/4513173059.

Lennart Mucke, M.D.
American Academy of Neurology Potamkin Prize
Two UCSF Scientists to Receive Prestigious Potamkin Prize for Dementia Research Lennart Mucke, MD, Joseph B. Martin Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience at UCSF and director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, and Bruce Miller, MD, professor of neurology and psychiatry at the UCSF, where he holds the A.W. & Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Chair, have been selected to receive the Potamkin Prize for major contributions to the understanding of the causes, prevention, treatment, and cure for Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and related diseases.

Lily Jan, Ph.D. and Yuh-Nung Jan, Ph.D.

McGovern Institute honors pioneeers in Neurogenetics
The McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT announced today that Lily Jan and Yuh-Nung Jan will be the joint winners of the 2010 Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience

Roger Nicoll, M.D.

NAS Website
Roger A. Nicoll, professor in the departments of cellular and molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, is the recipient of the NAS Award in the Neurosciences.  Nicoll is being honored for his seminal discoveries elucidating cellular and molecular bases for synaptic plasticity in the brain.  The award recognizes extraordinary contributions to progress in neuroscience and comes with a $25,000 prize.

David Rowitch, M.D./Ph.D.

Nature News article
Nearly 50% of premature babies will develop abnormal brain functions, and 15% of these will have such severe disabilities that lifelong care will be required. Compounding this growing problem, funding for newborn brain research remains scarce. Responding to the public health crisis, UCSF has established an ambitious program: the Newborn Brain Research Institute (NBRI). Concentrating clinical investigation and basic neuroscience research, the NBRI is pioneering new approaches for newborns with neurological complications. The co-directors of the NBRI are Donna Ferriero, MD, a neurologist and leading clinical investigator in neurological problems of newborns, and David Rowitch, MD, PhD, a neonatologist and HHMI investigator whose laboratory research focuses on basic biological regulation of neural stem cells. Efforts of the UCSF  NBRI were recently featured in Nature news.

Adam Gazzaley M.D./Ph.D.

Won the 5th Annual UCSF PSA Outstanding Faculty Mentorship Award, given by the The Postdoctoral Scholars Association in recognition of his commitment to the careers and well-being of postdocs.

Linda Wilbrecht, Ph.D., was awarded a 2010 NIMH Brains Award. These research awards support creative projects by early career scientists. Dr. Wilbrecht will study the development of brain circuits related to processing information about safety and danger in mice. The findings may help inform human studies of anxiety and risk-taking, and possibly reveal measures for testing behavioral therapies to correct brain circuit imbalances. Full Story