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Pearl Meister Greengard Prize Awarded to Pioneering Memory Researcher Brenda Milner

November 4, 2011

$100,000 prize honors female scientists who have made extraordinary contributions to biomedical science

NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Brenda Milner, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of cognitive neuroscience whose discoveries revolutionized the understanding of memory, was awarded the 2011 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize from The Rockefeller University yesterday. The prize, which honors female scientists who have made extraordinary contributions to biomedical science and carries an honorarium of $100,000, was presented to Dr. Milner by Michelle Bachelet, under-secretary-general and executive director of U.N. Women and former president of Chile, at a ceremony at Rockefeller University’s Caspary Auditorium.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111104/DC00419 )

“I am absolutely delighted and amazed to receive this special award and so proud and honored to be representing women scientists in this context. I am very privileged for having been able to pursue my sense of curiosity within the culture of excellence at the Montreal Neurological Institute, as well as to train and encourage talented young students — driving forces throughout my career to which I attribute much of my success,” said Dr. Milner.

“I am so pleased and honored to present the Greengard Prize this year to acclaimed neuroscientist Brenda Milner,” said Ms. Bachelet. “I commend Rockefeller University for all it does to support and encourage women scientists. Across the world women are making major contributions to scientific advances. Even more women could if they had equal opportunities and if young girls and women had access to the education and encouragement that it takes to pursue careers in the sciences.”

The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize was established by Paul Greengard, Ph.D., Vincent Astor Professor at Rockefeller University and head of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and his wife, sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. Dr. Greengard donated the proceeds of his 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Rockefeller University and, in partnership with generous supporters of the university, created the annual award named in memory of Greengard’s mother, who died giving birth to him. Since 2004, the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize has recognized female scientists who have made exceptional contributions to biomedical science, a group that historically has not received appropriate recognition and acclaim.

“Brenda Milner is a great neuroscientist, and the founder of the field of neuropsychology. By virtue of her stature as a preeminent scientist, she has greatly advanced efforts to achieve acceptance and respect for women in science,” said Dr. Greengard.

Dr. Milner is the Dorothy J. Killam Professor at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute and professor in the department of neurology and neurosurgery at McGill University. She has spent her career unraveling the mysteries of the brain, and she has been credited by Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel with merging the fields of psychology and neurobiology to create the field of cognitive neuroscience.

Dr. Milner’s seminal research has provided many landmark discoveries in the study of human memory and the brain’s temporal lobes, which play a key role in emotional responses, hearing, memory and speech.

Dr. Milner is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded honorary degrees from more than 20 different universities around the world. In 2010 she was named one of 25 Transformational Canadians.

Dr. Milner is the recipient of numerous scientific awards including the International Balzan Prize for Cognitive Neurosciences, the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Prix Wilder-Penfield (Prix du Quebec). She is a fellow of the Royal Society (London) and the Royal Society of Canada and was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 2004. In 2007, she created the Brenda Milner Foundation to support and foster young researchers in the field of cognitive neuroscience through postdoctoral fellowships at the MNI.

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Joseph Bonner

SOURCE The Rockefeller University

Source: PR Newswire