May 1, 2019
LA JOLLA—The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently announced that Salk Institute Professor Edward Callaway is one of 100 new members and 25 foreign associates to be elected to the NAS in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The election is considered one of the highest honors accorded to a U.S. scientist. Callaway’s recognition brings the number of Salk faculty elected to the NAS to 16.
Callaway, the Vincent J. Coates Chair in Molecular Neurobiology and professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratory, studies the billions of cells that make up the brain, with an emphasis on the organization and development of the brain’s visual circuits. His work focuses on deciphering the neural map—how each neuron and cell type is connected and what function they have within the brain. He pioneered a method for mapping these connections using a modified rabies virus to trace the direct connections between cells—a technique now used around the world to study brain cell communication. By observing the connections of the various cell types in the brain and identifying their functional properties, researchers can better understand and test theories about how neural circuits work.
Presently, Callaway is co-leading an effort by Salk colleagues and collaborators to contribute to an open-access 3D atlas of the brain (including its many cell types) as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative® funded by the National Institutes of Health. The Salk-based Center for Epigenomics of the Mouse Brain Atlas is conducting profiling of millions of neurons across the whole brain. This effort will provide the means to genetically access specific brain cell types, enabling researchers around the world to study the brain’s function and dysfunction.
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
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Every cure has a starting point. The Salk Institute embodies Jonas Salk’s mission to dare to make dreams into reality. Its internationally renowned and award-winning scientists explore the very foundations of life, seeking new understandings in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature and fearless in the face of any challenge. Be it cancer or Alzheimer’s, aging or diabetes, Salk is where cures begin.