Emory and Ohio State Researchers Recognized for Neuroscience Education and Training Efforts
WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will present the Award for Education in Neuroscience to Ronald L. Calabrese, PhD, senior associate dean for research at the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, and Randy J. Nelson, PhD, chair of the Department of Neuroscience and co-director of the Neuroscience Research Institute at The Ohio State University. The award honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to neuroscience education and training and will be jointly presented at Neuroscience 2017, SfN’s annual meeting and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.
“The Society is pleased to recognize Dr. Calabrese and Dr. Nelson for their commitment to neuroscience education both within and outside the lab,” SfN President Eric Nestler said. “Both were instrumental in developing highly respected neuroscience programs at their respective institutions and have gone above and beyond expectations to teach neuroscience to those who want to learn.”
Ronald L. Calabrese has devoted more than 40 years to educating young neuroscientists. He was instrumental in developing the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Emory University, where he spent 11 years as program director and an additional seven years as co-director of graduate studies. His lab studies how networks of interneurons produce activity in motor neurons to generate movement, modeling inclusive processes in the neural circuit that controls the heart of the medicinal leech. On top of his research career, Calabrese has helped more than 50 undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to pursue their careers, challenging his mentees and encouraging them to realize their full academic potential.
Notably, Calabrese has assumed multiple extramural neuroscience education responsibilities, teaching for two years at the Crete Course in Computational Neuroscience, in Greece, and at the EU Advanced Course in Computational Neuroscience. As an instructor, he spent 10 years teaching the University of Minnesota Summer Lab Course at Lake Itasca, Minn., and 35 years teaching the Woods Hole Neural System and Behavior course, an eight-week intensive lecture and laboratory course that draws neuroethologists and systems neuroscientists to Massachusetts from around the globe.
Randy J. Nelson has also made remarkable contributions to the field as a teacher, academic administrator, author, and mentor. Holding PhDs in both psychology and endocrinology, Nelson has published over 400 peer-reviewed articles and 11 books, including Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology, a widely used textbook in North American and European colleges and universities. Nelson was instrumental in developing the Undergraduate Program in Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate major and minor in neuroscience at The Ohio State University.
Nelson routinely teaches additional courses beyond his required load and serves on the advisory board of several training grants at OSU and other universities. He is the only OSU faculty member to have received four of OSU’s highest university-level awards: University Distinguished Scholar, University Distinguished Lecturer, Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and Distinguished University Professor. Nelson is perhaps best known for his collaborative lab, which welcomes scientists ranging from high schoolers to postdoctoral researchers. He has dedicated much of his time to mentoring and providing opportunities for women, students from historically black universities, and other minorities.
The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) is an organization of nearly 37,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system.