Cold Spring Harbor, NY — For the second time in less than half a year, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) neuroscientist Adam Kepecs, Ph.D., has received an important fellowship award. It has just been announced that Kepecs, an assistant professor, has won a 2009 Klingenstein Fellowship in the Neurosciences. This past February, Kepecs was named a Research Fellow of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The purpose of the Klingenstein fellowship, which provides $150,000 over three years, is “to support, in the early stages of their careers, young investigators engaged in basic and clinical research” in the neurosciences. Kepecs’ award is in the area of neural systems, one of three areas recognized by the Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Inc., which administers the fellowship. The other areas are cellular and molecular neuroscience and clinical research.
“Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is very proud of Adam Kepecs,” said David L. Spector, Ph.D., Director of Research at CSHL. “It is a distinct honor for any scientist to be recognized with a major fellowship award; to win two such distinctions in the space of half a year is truly noteworthy, and an indication of the success and future promise of Dr. Kepecs’ work.”
Kepecs said that he was honored to be named a Klingenstein neuroscience fellow, and was particularly gratified that the fund’s generosity would make possible an expanded program of work.
He studies the neurobiological principles by which the brain makes decisions. “Decision making is a problem that every living organism continually faces,” he has pointed out. “We view decisions as the elementary units of behavior from which more complex behaviors are assembled. Yet even simple decisions involve the integration of sensory and memory information with emotional and motivation attributes requiring the concerted action of millions of neurons across brain regions. Therefore we take an integrative approach centered around rodent behavioral tasks that allow us to systematically manipulate sensory stimuli, reward expectation and uncertainty.”
Currently a major effort in the Kepecs lab is directed toward combining its behavioral expertise with molecular and optical techniques in order to monitor and manipulate genetically identified circuit elements in behaving mice.
In addition to its major program interest in neuroscience, the New York City-based Esther A. & Joseph Klingenstein Fund devotes additional resources to educational causes. For more information, visit www.klingfund.org
Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. The Meetings & Courses Program annually hosts more than 12,000 scientists. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and the DNA Learning Center with programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu