News

Michael Greenberg Receives Gruber Prize

HMS Head of Neurobiology to share $500,000 award

Michael Greenberg. Image: Joshua TousterMichael Greenberg, head of the Harvard Medical School Department of Neurobiology, has been named a co-recipient of the 2015 Neuroscience Prize from the Gruber Foundation for his groundbreaking work regarding how neural activity controls wiring of the brain and how disruptions of those circuits can lead to neurobiological disorders.

Greenberg will share the unrestricted $500,000 award with Carla Shatz, professor of biology and neurobiology at Stanford University and former head of the HMS Department of Neurobiology. 

Through his research, Greenberg, the HMS Nathan Marsh Pusey Professor of Neurobiology, has identified how genes in the brain are triggered by experience-stimulated neuronal activity. He has also described many of their critical molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways.

Greenberg is particularly interested in how these activity-dependent genetic processes can lead to the development of diseases of cognitive function, such as Rett syndrome, when they malfunction.

“Both Dr. Shatz and Dr. Greenberg are extraordinary researchers,” said Robert Wurtz, chair of the selection advisory board for the neuroscience prize, in a statement. “Both have also served as leaders in the neuroscience community and have been exceptional mentors to countless young people who have gone on to have distinguished careers of their own.” 

The Gruber Prize citation stated, “their groundbreaking studies have provided new insight into how neural circuit function regulates brain development and plasticity and how dysfunction can contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.”

The cash award, a gold laureate pin and a citation will be presented to Greenberg and Shatz in Chicago at the 45th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in October.