University of Pittsburgh

Department of Neuroscience


Dr. Anthony Grace has received the 2016 Gold Medal Award from the Society ofBiological Psychiatry. This award, given out annually at the Society’s annual meeting, is awarded “for an internationally distinguished career of outstanding research and advancing knowledge in the field of psychiatric neuroscience”.


Professor and Neuroscience Chair, Alan F. Sved, has won the Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences for 2016

The annual Bellet Award was established in 1998 to recognize outstanding and innovative teachersofundergraduate students in Arts and Sciences. Nominated by Neuroscience majors, Corina Andriescu, Meredith Monsour and Swati Rajprohat, and supported by letters from colleagues, Dr. Sved’s award acknowledges his outstanding influence on undergraduate students and their intellectual development both within and outside the classroom. His generous and unfailing advice and mentoring are also recognized with this award. Dr. Sved shares the 2016 Bellet Award with Dr. Lorraine Denman in the Department of French and Italian Languages and Literatures and with Dr. Andrew Lotz in the Department of Political Science.

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Pitt News Release: October 13, 2015

Pitt's Yan Dong Earns Award for His Investigation of Addiction; Will receive the Waletzky Award at Neuroscience 2015

His research into how drugs such as cocaine can hijack the brain’s circuitry, leading to addiction, has earned University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist Yan Dong the Society for Neuroscience’s Jacob P. Waletzky Award.

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Marlene Cohen receives 2015 McKnight Scholar Award


Congratulations to Marlene Cohen, a recipient of the 2015 McKnight Scholar Award. The Award is granted to young scientists in the early stages of establishing their own independent laboratories and research careers and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience. The Endowment Fund seeks to support innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated. The McKnight Scholars will each receive $75,000 per year for three years.


Congratulations to Dr. Anthony A. Grace!

The William K. Warren Research Award is given every 2 years to a senior investigator, who has made outstanding contributions to our understanding of schizophrenia.

At the 2015 meeting of the International Congress of Schizophrenia Research, Dr. Anthony A. Grace was named the recipient of the award for 2015.


Marlene Cohen receives 2015 University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award


Patrick Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor awarded a dozen Pitt faculty members with 2015 chancellor’s awards for research, teaching and service. In the junior scholar category, Marlene Cohen, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience in the Dietrich school was awarded $2,000 cash prize and a $3,000 grant in support of her research. Chancellor Gallagher recognized Marlene's research as “scientifically rigorous, highly creative and novel” work that is making a substantial impact on the field of sensory processing and perception. “Not only have you been extremely successful in obtaining funding for your research, but you have also amply demonstrated that you are an independent, creative and talented scientist who is emerging as one of the true leaders in your field,” he wrote. Read More...


Congratulations to Dr. Yan Dong!

Dr. Dong's research is featured in the Winter 2015 issue of the PITT magazine. According to the article, Dong and his research team "sought to explain the brain mechanisms of cocaine craving. The findings suggest that it may be possible to clinically manipulate certain brain neurocircuits to weaken post-withdrawal cocaine relapse."

Neuroscience in the News

Why Obama's Brain Mapping Project Matters

MIT Technology Review - April 8

Obama calls for $100 million to develop new technologies to understand the brain.

Do Brain Games Work?

Popular Science - April 8
A few new studies, including one meta-analysis, suggest brain games don't make you any better at anything but playing brain games.

Exercising body and brain boosts memory and thinking in older people, study shows

The Washington Post - April 8

Exercising body and brain may improve memory and thinking in older people.

Brain Scans May Reveal Early Signs of Schizophrenia

Psych Central - April 6

As much as a decade before most schizophrenia patients begin showing symptoms, brain scans may be able to detect signs of the disease.

Brain Shape Confirms Controversial Fossil as Oldest Human Ancestor

Scientific American - April 4

A seven-million-year-old skull found in the Djurab Desert in Chad may indeed represent the earliest known member of the human family.

Upcoming Seminars and Events

For a complete list of seminars please visit the CNUP Website.

Department of Neuroscience Presents:

Faculty Candidate

Monday, February 27, 2017

9:30 a.m.

Skylar Jackman, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Neurobiology

Harvard Medical School

"Mechanisms and Functions of Synaptic Facilitation"

Location: A219B Langley Hall

Department of Neuroscience Presents:

Faculty Candidate

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

9:30 a.m.

David Kupferschmidt, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism

"Automatizing Actions: Probing the Synaptic and Circuit Plasticity of Skill and Habit Learning"

Location: A219B Langley Hall

Department of Neurobiology Presents:

Faculty Candidate

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

4:00 p.m.

Hyun Jae Pi, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Neuroscience Program

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

"A Cortex-wide Disinhibitory Circuit Motif Controlled by VIP Interneurons"

Location: 1495 Biomedical Science Tower

Department of Neurobiology Presents:

Faculty Candidate

Friday, March 17, 2017

4:00 p.m.

Baohua Li, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

University of California, San Diego

"Adaptive Control of Innate Reflexes by Visual Cortex"

Location: 1495 Biomedical Science Tower