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Neuroscientist Eric Kandel to receive honorary degree at university commencement

Eric Kandel
February 24, 2012

Researcher Eric Kandel will receive an honorary degree from Arizona State University at the undergraduate graduation in May, for his work in the neuroscience of memory.

Commencement speaker and journalist Tom Brokaw, animal scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin and chairman of A*STAR Lim Chuan Poh will also receive honorary degrees at the ceremony. Nelson Broms, vice president of iQ NetSolutions, Inc. and senior advisor at UtiliCorp United, will be awarded the prestigious University Medal of Excellence.

A graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Medicine, Kandel trained in Neurobiology at the NIH and in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  He joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1974 as the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.  At Columbia Kandel organized the neuroscience curriculum.  

He is an editor of Principles of Neural Science, the standard textbook used in the field.  His second book entitled In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, won both the L.A. Times and U.S. National Academy of Science Awards for best book in Science and Technology in 2008.

Kandel’s research is concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage in Aplysia and mice. More recently, he has studied animal models in mice of memory disorders and mental illness. Kandel’s study of memory will allow molecular insights into even the deepest problems of human behavior.

Kandel holds nineteen honorary degrees, is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Academies of Austria, France, Germany and Greece. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the Heineken Award of the Netherlands, the Gairdner Award of Canada, the Harvey Prize and the Wolf Prize of Israel, the National Medal of Science USA and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000, which he shared with Paul Greengard and Arvid Carlsson.