NEW ORLEANS — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) has awarded the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience to Colin Blakemore, ScD, FRS, of the University of Oxford. The $25,000 prize was awarded during Neuroscience 2012, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
The prize, which is supported by Lilly USA, LLC, holds great prestige in the field of neuroscience and allows researchers to recognize the work of their peers. The Gerard Prize was established in the name of Ralph W. Gerard, who was instrumental in establishing SfN and served as Honorary President from 1970 until his death in 1974.
“Dr. Blakemore is an extraordinary researcher whose work has greatly informed our knowledge of how the visual system develops,” said Moses V. Chao, PhD, president of SfN. “It is an honor to recognize his contributions to the field.”
Colin Blakemore’s impressive career has spanned more than 40 years. His work has provided fundamental insights into the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception development. His efforts to elucidate key molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying developmental plasticity of the visual cortex have been particularly helpful in improving knowledge about amblyopia. Blakemore continues to explore the molecular mechanisms that contribute to plasticity.
In addition to his scientific discoveries, Blakemore has actively helped to communicate science to the public for decades. He has contributed numerous magazine and newspaper articles, authored a number of books on vision, and publicly advocated for the ethical use of animals in research.
Blakemore earned his PhD in Physiological Optics at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968. He is currently a professor at the University of Oxford. Blakemore is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
The Society for Neuroscience is an organization of more than 42,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.