WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will award the Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience to Nancy Kopell, PhD, of Boston University. The $25,000 prize, supported by The Swartz Foundation, recognizes an individual who has produced a significant cumulative contribution to theoretical models or computational methods in neuroscience. The award will be presented during Neuroscience 2016, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“Dr. Kopell is deserving of this prize for her pioneering and influential role in the field of computational neuroscience, as well as the strength of her collaborations and mentoring,” SfN President Hollis Cline said. “It gives SfN great pleasure to recognize her achievements as an original, rigorous thinker investigating the patterns of complex brain dynamics.”
Kopell’s background in dynamical systems, a branch of mathematics that describes how one state leads to another over time, has given her a unique perspective on the brain. She has focused her career on understanding rhythmic activity patterns generated by individual neurons and networks of neurons. Kopell has uncovered how these oscillations change under a variety of conditions, such as under the influence of anesthetic drugs and in diseases such as Parkinson’s and schizophrenia. She devoted considerable and thoughtful effort to recognizing and debating the importance of these rhythms in the function of invertebrate, vertebrate and mammalian brains.
Kopell earned her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Northeastern University before joining the faculty at Boston University, where she is currently a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 38,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.