Indiana University

News Release

Monday, May 21, 2007

Last modified: Monday, May 21, 2007

Top neuroscientists receive awards from IU's Gill Center

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May 21, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Neuroscientists from Stanford University and the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego will be honored at the annual meeting of the Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science at Indiana University Bloomington this week.

Richard W. Tsien, George D. Smith Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford, will receive the 2007 Gill Award, an acknowledgement of Tsien's career-long contributions to the field of neuroscience. Benjamin F. Cravatt, Professor of Cell Biology and Chemistry at Scripps, will receive the Gill Center's 2007 Young Investigator Award.

"Professor Tsien has made a series of discoveries that have changed our thinking about the brain and provided new ways to study the brain," says Gill Center Director Michael Walker. "Examples include a better understanding of the role of calcium channels in the normal and pathological nervous system and furthering our understanding of how short and long lasting changes in chemical communication between cells occur, this being the fundamental unit of learning and memory."

Praising the young investigator awardee, Walker said, "Professor Cravatt has made several dramatic field-changing discoveries. These include the discovery and structural identification of several biomolecules involved in processes as diverse as sleep, thermal sensation and pain, and the identification of a key enzyme that metabolizes a substance produced by the body that resembles marijuana in its actions."

The 2007 Gill Symposium will take place on Wednesday, May 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Indiana Memorial Union. IU President Adam W. Herbert and IU President-elect Michael A. McRobbie will provide introductory remarks. For more information about the symposium, please visit:

The Linda and Jack Gill Center for Biomolecular Science (GCBS) was established to advance the understanding of complex biological processes and to train next generation scientists in biomolecular measurements, especially in the field of neuroscience. Collaborators include IU's departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychological and Brain Sciences, Neuroscience, and the School of Medicine. The Gill Center will soon be headquartered in Simon Hall, IU Bloomington's newest science building.

For more information about the Gill Symposium, the Gill Center, or to speak with Michael Walker, please contact Misty Theodore at 812-856-1930 or To speak with Benjamin Cravatt, please contact Keith McKeown at 858-784-8134 or To speak with Richard Tsien, please contact Deborah Stinchfield at, 650-234-0663 (office), or 650-575-2706 (cell).

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