The 9th Annual Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize was awarded to Dr. Michael Greenberg from Harvard Medical School this past Wednesday, May 6th. Dean Roper presented Dr. Greenberg with the plaque and check. The title of Dr. Greenberg's lecture was "Signaling Networks that Regulate Synapse Development and Cognitive Function." More than 200 scientists were in attendance for his talk.
This year’s Perl Prize was awarded to Greenberg for his discovery of signaling pathways underlying activity-regulated gene transcription in neurons. Changes in patterns of electrical activity in neurons have long been thought to underlie cognitive functions like learning and memory. Greenberg’s discoveries have defined the mechanism by which neural activity regulates neuronal gene expression. Recently several activity-regulated genes have been implicated in rare familial cases of autism.