Ron Davis, PhD, chair of the Neuroscience Department on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute, has been selected to receive a prestigious $3.5 million Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award for his work on the complex biology of memory formation and the disorders that disrupt it.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), one agency within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), awards the special merit grant to investigators "who have a history of exceptional talent, imagination and preeminent scientific achievement in the field of neurological science, and who are expected to be exceptionally productive during the tenure of the grant." The initial award is for a period of four years, with a three-year extension upon request. Seven-year grants are unusual within the NIH system.
"I am honored to receive the Javits Award," Davis said. "The award is a continuation of the first grant I received from the NINDS some 30 years ago, so it's very much a personal milestone for me. I am extremely grateful to the NINDS for their support of my research program across these three decades."
"The Javits award gives scientists like Ron Davis, whose work is on the cutting edge, an even greater opportunity to understand the complex interplay involved in the cause and, hopefully, treatment of neurological diseases," said Story Landis, PhD, NINDS director. "His research into memory should play a significant role in the development of those potential treatments."
The new study will focus on an area of memory formation that has remained relatively mysterious-the role that active forgetting plays in learning and memory. Davis and his colleagues recently showed that dopamine signaling to specific neurons in the brain provides a signal to forget.