WASHINGTON, DC -- The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Peter and Patricia Gruber International Research Award in Neuroscience to Keren Haroush, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and Jerry L. Chen, PhD, of the University of Zurich. The award recognizes two promising young scientists for outstanding research and educational pursuit in an international setting. The award, supported by The Gruber Foundation, includes $25,000 for each recipient and will be presented during Neuroscience 2015, SfN's annual meeting and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
"It is an honor to recognize the outstanding work of these two scientists," SfN President Steven Hyman said. "Drs. Haroush and Chen represent some of the best talent from around the globe. Their work with animal models has helped to inform and shape the understanding of the field."
Haroush, a native of Israel and current research associate at Harvard Medical School, is making great strides in advancing understanding of the neural mechanisms behind cooperative social interaction. Using single-neuron recordings in non-human primates, Haroush discovered a new class of cells in the cingulate cortex that are predictive of another animal's intended actions. These findings are the first to dissect the representation of one's own decisions from the predicted action of an opponent. As a PhD student at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Haroush studied the neural correlates of attention in humans.
Chen's research as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zurich has helped uncover how behavior drives the activation of specific neural pathways in the brain. Specifically, Chen tracked the activity of neurons over time while an animal underwent behavioral training on a sensory discrimination task. He found that as the animal became more adept at the task, a pool of neurons that project from the primary sensory cortex to the secondary sensory cortex underwent a substantial reorganization. These findings have helped illuminate the neural correlates of learning and decision-making in animals. Chen earned his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied how the structure of a neuron changes based on the type of inputs that it receives.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.