2012 Distinguished Scientist Award

Presented to Eric R. Kandel, MD

Each year the Child Mind Institute’s Scientific Research Council selects an exceptional researcher for the Child Mind Institute Distinguished Scientist Award, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology or developmental neuroscience. The award honors contributions either to clinical science or basic science. The award carries a prize of $25,000 and is presented at the Child Mind Institute’s Annual Child Advocacy Award Dinner. The award recipient, along with several other scientists selected because they have been influenced by recipient’s work, are featured presenters at our next On the Shoulders of Giants scientific symposium.

Eric R. Kandel, MD, is University Professor at Columbia, Fred Kavli Professor and Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science, and a senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A graduate of Harvard College and N.Y.U. School of Medicine, Kandel trained in neurobiology at the NIH and in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1974 as the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. At Columbia, Kandel organized the neuroscience curriculum. He is an editor of Principles of Neural Science, the standard textbook in the field. He recently has written a book on the brain for the general public entitled In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, which won both the L.A. Times and U.S. National Academy of Science Awards for best book in science and technology in 2008. A documentary film based on that book, also entitled In Search of Memory, has been shown in the United States.

Eric Kandel’s research has been concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage in Aplysia and mice. More recently, he has studied animal models in mice of memory disorders and mental illness. Kandel has received 19 honorary degrees, and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Science Academies of Austria, France, Germany and Greece. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the Heineken Award of the Netherlands, the Gairdner Award of Canada, the Harvey Prize and the Wolf Prize of Israel, the National Medal of Science USA and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000, which he shared with Paul Greengard and Arvid Carlsson. He also cohosted an enlightening PBS series on the brain with Charlie Rose and luminaries from the art and science worlds.