Columbia University Medical Center

Eric Kandel: Productive Lives Awardee

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation honored four individuals in April for being “remarkable human beings who have devoted their energy and formidable talents within their respective professions to help those living with mental illness realize their potential and live full, productive lives.”

One of this year’s honorees was Columbia’s Eric R. Kandel, MD, University Professor, the Fred Kavli Professor and director of the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia, and a senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Kandel has conducted pioneering investigations into the molecular mechanisms of implicit memory storage, using the snail Aplysia as a research model. He and his colleagues have been investigating more complex explicit memory storage—the conscious recall of information about people, places, and objects—in mice studies.

Other honorees this year were Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the NIH; Thomas R. Insel, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health; and singer Judy Collins.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s mission is to alleviate the suffering caused by mental illness by awarding grants to develop advances and breakthroughs in scientific research. Since 1987, the foundation has awarded more than $300 million in more than 4,500 NARSAD grants to more than 3,700 scientists around the world. The foundation is the nation’s largest private funder of mental health research; only the federal government awards more money to mental health study.