May 6, 2024

Salk neuroscientist Martyn Goulding elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Salk News

Salk neuroscientist Martyn Goulding elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute’s Martyn Goulding, a professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory and the Frederick W. and Joanna J. Mitchell Chair, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Goulding is a neuroscientist who studies the sensorimotor circuitry in the spinal cord that controls a range of different motor behaviors, from simple reflexes such as scratching to walking and precise forelimb movements.

Martyn Goulding
Martyn Goulding
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Credit: Salk Institute

“We are proud to congratulate Martyn on this honor, one that he shares with some of the world’s most accomplished leaders, not only in the sciences but also business, education, the humanities, and the arts,” says Salk Institute President Gerald Joyce. “Martyn has helped define what it means to ‘move’ as a human, and his work helps inform the development of treatments for conditions in which movement is impaired, such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and spinal cord injuries.”

By developing new genetic strategies, Goulding identified and characterized many of the neurons in the spinal cord that are required for movement. Among his many accomplishments, he discovered the types of neurons that guide alternating stepping during walking, influence the speed of locomotion, and direct flexion-extension—a fundamental feature of movement in animals with limbs. He has also mapped the spinal cord circuitry that processes the sense of touch, and has defined key pathways in the cord that transmit and control itch and pain.

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences honors excellence and convenes leaders from every field of human endeavor to examine new ideas, address issues of importance to the nation and the world, and work together “to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people.”

Goulding has also been recognized with the 2022 Brain Prize, an Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and a Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award.

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