14th Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize awarded to Dr. Marcus Raichle

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has awarded the 14th Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize to Dr.Dr. Marcus RaichleMarcus Raichle, MD of Washington University at St Louis School of Medicine for his discoveries related to to the "default mode network" of brain function.

A prestigious award, the Perl Prize carries a $10,000 award and is given to recognize a seminal achievement in neuroscience.  Past recipients have included four subsequent winners of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine.

Raichle's research incorporates imaging methods that use the brain's blood flow to correlate the activity levels of different regions of the brain at rest.  His method is now used in the Human Connectome Project, the large NIH-funded brain initiative that aims to create a comprehensive map of the major neuronal connections in the human brain.  

Raichle's methodology led to his discovery of a unique fronto-parietal network in the brain that has come to be known as the default network. This network is now the focus of work on brain function in health and disease worldwide.  

As director of the UNC Neuroscience Center and chairman of the Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize committee, Dr. William Snider stated that Raichle "definitely meets the standards" required of recipients of the Perl Prize.  He further declared that Raichle's default network "is very important in conditions such as schizophrenia and especially Alzheimer’s disease."

Dr. Terry Magnuson, the Vice Dean for Research at the UNC School of Medicine presented Dr. Raichle with his award during a ceremony on February 20, 2014 at 3pm followed by a lecture by Dr. Raichle and a short reception.

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