Cold Spring Harbor, NY — Associate Professor Adam Kepecs, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has received the 2014 Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award from The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience. The award, which provides $100,000 per year for three years, supports innovative efforts to solve problems of neurological and psychiatric diseases, especially those related to memory and cognition.
“We are delighted that the McKnight Foundation has recognized Dr. Kepecs’ innovative research with a Memory and Cognitive Disorders Award and we are confident that he will make important breakthroughs in understanding complex systems involved with neuron signaling,” said Anthony Zador, M.D., Ph.D., CSHL Professor and Neuroscience Program Chair.
Kepecs received the award for his work relating to the nucleus basalis (NB). NB is a vitally important but poorly understood part of the brain whose degeneration parallels the decline of cognitive functions in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s dementia and normal age-related cognitive decline. NB has also been implicated in learning and memory, but little is known about how it signals with the cortex. Kepecs’ research combines state-of-the-art behavioral electrophysiology with quantitative psychophysics and optogenetics to determine how and when NB neurons signal. Kepecs hopes to identify fundamental principles of neural circuit function to develop therapeutic treatments for cognitive diseases.
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