School of medicine

School Notes: School of Medicine
January/February 2016

Robert J. Alpern |

Expert on membrane trafficking will lead Department of Neuroscience

Pietro De Camilli, the John Klingenstein Professor of Neuroscience and professor of cell biology, has been named chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Neuroscience. De Camilli is director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale; a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator; and a founding codirector of the program in cellular neuroscience, neurodegeneration, and repair. He came to the School of Medicine in 1978 as a postdoctoral fellow, then joined the Section of Cell Biology and served as chair of the Department of Cell Biology from 1997 to 2000. His research focuses on membrane trafficking and lipid signaling at neuronal synapses. De Camilli has received numerous awards in recognition of his scientific achievements, including the Max Planck Research Award and the Sir Bernard Katz Award for Excellence in Research on Exocytosis and Endocytosis. He is president-elect of the American Society of Cell Biology, which he will lead in 2017.

Neuroscientist honored

Amy F. T. Arnsten, professor of neuroscience and of psychology, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Cognitive Neuroscience. The award honors Arnsten’s research into the physiology and function of the prefrontal association cortex, an area of the brain pioneered by Yale’s Patricia Goldman-Rakic, for whom the award was named following her death in 2003. Arnsten’s own research has revealed the unique molecular mechanisms that govern our highest-order brain circuits in the prefrontal cortex, leading to new treatments for cognitive disorders. Arnsten is a founding member of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale.

Physiologist joins National Academy

Nancy Carrasco, professor of cellular and molecular physiology, has been named to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) as a foreign associate. Carrasco’s work explores the mechanisms of transport across the cell membrane. Her research on the Na+/I- symporter (NIS), the key plasma membrane protein that mediates active iodide transport in the thyroid, lactating breast, and other tissues, ranges from biochemical, biophysical, and physiological investigations to translational studies, including development of new cancer treatments. Her research group was the first to discover the mechanism for cellular uptake of iodide, after cloning NIS.

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