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Salk scientist receives a host of honors, including funding

Fred Gage

Fred "Rusty" Gage

In recognition of his significant contributions to the field of neurobiology, Salk Institute professor Fred "Rusty" Gage has been honored with four awards on two continents:
Spain's Cátedra Santiago Grisolía Award 2011, an honorary doctorate in medicine from Lund University in Sweden, appointment as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and recipient of a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Transformative Research Projects (T-R01) program.

Gage, a professor in the Salk Institute Laboratory of Genetics and holder of the John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases, has played a pivotal role in advancing knowledge of neurobiology. Through a groundbreaking experiment in 1998, Gage's lab showed that contrary to decades of common wisdom, human brains grow new neurons throughout life, a discovery that forced scientists to rethink some of their most basic ideas about how the brain works. He and his team also showed that physical exercise can enhance the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, a process called neurogenesis.

Spain's Cáedra Santiago Grisolía Prize is conferred annually on two internationally distinguished researchers in recognition of work that is of both high scientific and social interest. Gage, along with fellow recipient Mario Capecchi, a molecular geneticist, was honored in a public ceremony on May 3 in Valencia, Spain and presented with a medal.

On May 27, Gage also received an honorary doctorate in medicine from Lund University in Sweden, where he served as an associate professor from 1981 to 1985.

In June, Gage began his yearlong term as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research at the society's annual meeting in Toronto, Canada—an extremely fitting appointment due to his worldwide reputation as one of the leading experts on stem cell research.