Public Release: 

Joshua Levitz receives Nemko Prize in Cellular or Molecular Neuroscience

Society for Neuroscience

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Nemko Prize in Cellular or Molecular Neuroscience to Joshua Levitz, PhD, of the University of California, Berkeley. This prize acknowledges the achievements of a young scientist in recognition of an outstanding PhD thesis advancing understanding of molecular, genetic, or cellular mechanisms underlying brain function.

The $2,500 prize was established in 2013 by columnist, author, and career coach Marty Nemko, PhD, on behalf of the Nemko family. The prize will be presented during Neuroscience 2015, SfN's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

"Dr. Levitz has invented new methods in cellular neuroscience that will have a far-reaching impact," SfN President Steven Hyman said. "The Society is pleased to honor him for his outstanding achievements."

As a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, Levitz developed a new approach to study G protein-coupled receptors, a type of receptor found in cell membranes. He created a method to manipulate the activity of these receptors with synthetic chemical photoswitches. Levitz's work will affect the study of brain circuitry, including circuits involved in depression, and our understanding of the molecular basis of G protein-coupled receptor signaling.

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The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.

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