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Symposium celebrates life and science of Stephen F. Heinemann

Stephen F. Heinemann

More than 300 colleagues, family and friends of Salk Neuroscientist Stephen F. Heinemann attended his memorial service on January 22, 2015 in the Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium that was part of the 9th Annual Salk Institute, Fondation IPSEN, and Science Symposium on Biological Complexity: Neurodegenerative Diseases. Heinemann, who joined the core faculty of the Salk Institute in 1970 and established the renowned Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, died August 6, 2014 at 75 after a long illness.

Eulogists included French neuroscientist Jean-Pierre Changeux, Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa of Japan and Isabel Pérez-Otaño of the Center for Applied Medical Research at the University of Navarra in Spain. Louis Reichardt and Gerald Fischbach, both of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, and Salk Professor Charles Stevens were among those who delivered personal tributes.

Inder Verma

The three-day symposium, hosted by Inder Verma, drew more than 200 scientists to the Institute to hear presentations on the current research of neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Kicking off the convention was the Sydney Brenner Nobel Lecture delivered by Susan Lindquist of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, who spoke about powerful discovery platforms that combat neurodegenerative disease. The symposium’s closing dinner speaker was Fischbach, who talked about the social, scientific and therapeutic challenges of autism spectrum disorders.