Dr. Richard Tsien Receives 2012 Julius Axelrod Prize

Director of Neuroscience Institute Recognized for Distinguished Science and Teaching Achievements

Richard W. Tsien, DPhil, the Druckenmiller Professor of Neuroscience and chair, Department of Physiology and Neuroscience and director of the Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center, was awarded the 2012 Julius Axelrod Prize at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) in New Orleans, October 13-17. The prize, named for Dr. Julius Axelrod, co-winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, recognizes exceptional achievements in neuropharmacology or a related field and exemplary efforts in mentoring young scientists.

“This award recognizes Dr. Tsien’s accomplishments as an internationally renowned scientist and mentor to many researchers who have also achieved enormous success,” said Dafna Bar-Sagi, PhD, senior vice president and vice dean for science and chief scientific officer at NYU Langone Medical Center. “We are extremely honored to have him at the Medical Center and leading our world-class translational neuroscience program.”

In addition to being an educator and administrator, Dr. Tsien’s research has advanced current understanding of cellular signaling and helped in the discovery and classification of certain calcium channels, including those most critical to brain function. He and his colleagues are also known for key discoveries about synaptic transmission and modulation of neuronal function, and are currently studying a mouse model for autism.

Dr. Tsien joined NYU Langone following a successful tenure at Stanford University, where he founded and served as the first chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, helped established the Stanford Brain Research Center and was director and principal investigator of the Silvio Conte Center for Neuroscience Research, which was funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). He holds a graduate degree in electrical engineering from MIT and a doctorate in biophysics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Dr. Tsien is the first director of NYU Langone’s Neuroscience Institute (NI), created in July 2009 though a generous $100 million gift from the Druckenmiller Foundation. The NI builds on the Medical Center’s expertise in neuroscience and brings more than 250 basic and translational scientists together with clinicians to address some of today’s most challenging health care issues, from Alzheimer’s disease to epilepsy to multiple sclerosis and malignant brain tumors. For more information visit NYU Langone Medical Center’s Neuroscience Institute.