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Salk Researcher Awarded Julius Axelrod Prize

Stephen F. Heinemann

Stephen F. Heinemann

Stephen F. Heinemann, a professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory and holder of the Salk Institute Council Endowed Chair in Genetics, has been awarded the Julius Axelrod Prize during the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

The prize, named after Nobel Laureate Julius Axelrod, who discovered the actions of neurotransmitters in regulating the metabolism of the nervous system, recognizes exceptional achievements in neuropharmacology and exemplary efforts in mentoring young scientists.

Heinemann, a past president of the Society for Neuroscience, is best known for his work on the identification and characterization of nicotinic and glutamatergic receptors, which are essential to communication between brain cells, learning, and memory. During his career of more than 30 years, Heinemann has mentored many students who have gone on to secure key academic positions worldwide.

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are currently using discoveries made in Heinemann's lab to develop drugs for stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, as well as mental conditions such as nicotine addiction, depression, and schizophrenia.

Heinemann is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received the Bristol-Myers Squibb Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research Award and the McKnight Award for Research.