Toronto researcher to receive 'Nobel of neuroscience' prize

TORONTO -- A Toronto-based researcher is among three scientists receiving the world's most valuable prize for brain research in recognition of their work on the mechanisms of memory.

See Full Article

Graham Collingridge, a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai Hospital, shares the one-million euro Brain Prize with Tim Bliss, a visiting researcher at the Francis Crick Institute in London, and Richard Morris of the University of Edinburgh.

The Brain Prize, widely regarded as the "Nobel Prize for neuroscientists," is awarded each year by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation in Denmark to one or more scientists who have distinguished themselves through outstanding contributions to the field of brain research.

Collingridge's focus is on the brain mechanism known as "long-term potentiation" (LTP), which underpins the life-long plasticity of the brain. His work, along with that of Bliss and Morris, has revolutionized the approach to understanding how memories are formed, retained and lost.

The British-born scientist's discoveries are particularly important in efforts to treat diseases such as Alzheimer's, in which the efficiency of brain synapses is altered. His work has contributed to a medication that temporarily slows down the progression of the disease.

"I am delighted to share this award," Collingridge said in a statement Tuesday. "Working on the cellular mechanisms of learning and memory has been both richly challenging and intensely rewarding for me. I am really excited about now translating discoveries about LTP into new treatments for dementia."

Collingridge, a senior investigator at Mount Sinai's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, came to Toronto last year from Bristol, England, where he is also a professor of neuroscience in anatomy at the University of Bristol.

"Memory is at the heart of human experience," Sir Colin Blakemore, chairman of the Brain Prize selection committee, said in a release from the Grete Lundbeck foundation. "This year's winners, through their ground-breaking research, have transformed our understanding of memory and learning, and the devastating effects of failing memory."

Bliss, who earned his doctorate at McGill University in Montreal, is recognized internationally for his seminal research on the neural foundation of learning and memory. In 1973, he and Oslo researcher Terje Lomo co-authored a paper on LTP, the most widely-studied experimental model of how the brain stores memories.

In 1986, Richard Morris used a new method he had developed to show that LTP was necessary for laboratory rats and mice to learn to find their way around a new environment. He developed the Morris water navigation task, a water maze widely used by scientists to study spatial learning and memory in rodents.

The Brain Prize will be presented to the three neuroscientists by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at a ceremony July 1 in Copenhagen.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Federal gov't announces plan to protect caribou after legal action taken

    Tech & Science CBC News
    The federal government has come up with a proposed plan to protect Canada's threatened boreal caribou population, three months after a wildlife conservation group took the environment minister to court over the matter. Environmental group sues Catherine McKenna for failing to report on efforts to save caribou habitat Source
  • Scientists set to unlock secrets of 'lost continent' Zealandia

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Scientists are attempting to unlock the secrets of the "lost continent" of Zealandia, setting sail Friday to investigate the huge underwater landmass east of Australia that has never been properly studied. Zealandia, which is mostly submerged beneath the South Pacific, was once part of the Gondwana super-continent but broke away some 75 million years ago. Source
  • NASA scientists will chase solar eclipse in fighter jets

    Tech & Science CBC News
    For armchair astronomers and nearly everyone else watching the skies during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21, it will all be over in 2½ minutes. But a team of NASA-funded scientists chasing the moon's shadow in retrofitted WB-57F jet planes will experience the rare phenomenon for more than seven extraordinary minutes. Source
  • NASA scientists will chase solar eclipse in jets

    Tech & Science CBC News
    For armchair astronomers and nearly everyone else watching the skies during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21, it will all be over in 2½ minutes. But a team of NASA-funded scientists chasing the moon's shadow in retrofitted WB-57F jet planes will experience the rare phenomenon for more than seven extraordinary minutes. Source
  • Apple confirms it has killed the iPod Shuffle and Nano

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Tech giant Apple has confirmed the death of two of its legacy iPod models today - the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano. Both models have been officially discontinued and were removed from the Apple store on Thursday, eliminating the two last versions of its music players not capable of running iOS apps. Source
  • Apple kills iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle as music moves to phones

    Tech & Science CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- The iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle have played their final notes for Apple.Scroll down or click here to vote in our poll of the day The company discontinued sales of the two music players Thursday in a move reflecting the waning popularity of the devices in an era when most people store or stream their tunes on smartphones. Source
  • Take a look at the pollution-fighting forest city being built in smog-choked China

    Tech & Science CTV News
    A smog-fighting forest city designed to scrub the air of pollutants with its one million plants and trees is currently under development in southern China. At first glance, artist renderings for Liuzhou Forest City evoke images of a futuristic city invaded by jungle overgrowth. Source
  • First editing of human embryos carried out in United States

    Tech & Science CBC News
    U.S. scientists have for the first time altered the genes of human embryos — a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) in Portland believe they have broken new ground both in the number of embryos experimented upon and by demonstrating it is possible to safely and efficiently correct defective genes that cause inherited diseases, according to MIT Technology Review, which first reported the news…
  • August total solar eclipse a boon for cities, businesses across parts of U.S.

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Millions of eyes will be fixed on the sky when a total solar eclipse crosses the U.S. in August, and it's likely many of them will be safely behind the special glasses churned out by a Tennessee company. Source
  • Oregon scientists do first human gene embryo editing in U.S.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    For the first time in the United States, scientists have edited the genes of human embryos, a controversial step toward someday helping babies avoid inherited diseases. According to MIT Technology Review, the experiment was just an exercise in science -- the embryos were not allowed to develop for more than a few days and were never intended to be implanted into a womb. Source