Neuroscientist and Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine
Paul Greengard is the Vincent Astor Professor, head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and director of the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at Rockefeller University in New York City.
Human (and other animal bodies) are controlled by networks of nerve cells, or neurons. The properties of these neurons and their network are constantly changing, and in work that was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Greengard and his colleagues elucidated some of the complex biochemical processes underlying this neuronal change. They were able to show how neurons utilize certain neurotransmitters (a special class of chemicals such as dopamine of Awakenings fame) to modulate each other’s responsiveness to future stimuli, the molecular basis of a process known as slow synaptic transmission.
The recipient of many signal honors and awards, Greengard has a long record of promoting the advancement of women in science. With his wife, sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard, and using his Nobel Prize money for the endowment, he has funded the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, an annual award at Rockefeller University honoring outstanding women scientists in biomedical research.
Image © The Rockefeller University