ESSAYS ON SCIENCE AND SOCIETY

2002 Grand Prize Winner

Science  25 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5594, pp. 767
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5594.767

Anjen Chenn was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and grew up in Marion, Ohio. Dr. Chenn received his bachelor's degree in biochemical sciences from Harvard University in 1990. He went on to graduate studies in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stanford University where he joined Dr. Susan McConnell's laboratory and studied mammalian cerebral cortical development. His research on asymmetric divisions in mammalian neurogenesis was published in a first-author paper in Cell and was featured on the cover. He received his Ph.D. in neurosciences from Stanford University in 1996 and his M.D. in 1997. From there Dr. Chenn moved to residency training in clinical pathology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and became board-certified in clinical pathology in 2000. During his residency training, Dr. Chenn was awarded a Howard Hughes Physician Postdoctoral Fellowship and pursued postdoctoral research in Dr. Christopher A. Walsh's laboratory at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. His postdoctoral research on genetic regulation of cerebral cortical size resulted in a first-author research article and cover figure in Science. Dr. Chenn is now an assistant professor in pathology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago where his laboratory continues to pursue research in mammalian neural development.

Anjen Chenn

Finalists

Liqun Luo, for his essay, “From Single Neuron to Neural Circuits,” reporting research carried out in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. Dr Luo grew up in Shanghai, China, and earned his bachelor's degree in molecular biology from the University of Science and Technology of China. After obtaining his Ph.D. from Brandeis University and pursuing postdoctoral studies at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Luo started his own laboratory in December 1996. Work in his laboratory focuses on using genetic tools to understand the logic of brain wiring. Dr. Luo also teaches a course in molecular and cellular neurobiology to Stanford University undergraduate and graduate students.

Lisa Stowers, for her essay, “How Mice Detect and Respond to Pheromones,” based on work done in Dr. Catherine Dulac's laboratory at Harvard University. Dr. Stowers was born in Petaluma, California, and received a B.A. in bacteriology from the University of California at Davis. In 1997 she was awarded a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Harvard University for work in Dr. John Chant's laboratory characterizing signal transduction components of mammalian cell polarity. As a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Dulac, she used a molecular genetic approach to study the neurobiology of mouse behavior. This work identified the sensory neurons that respond to pheromones and illuminated the influence of the chemical environment on both the social behavior and the neuroendocrine response of the mouse. She is currently continuing this work as an assistant professor of cell biology at The Scripps Research Institute.

Thomas Thannickal, for his essay, “Human Narcolepsy as a Neurodegenerative Puzzle,” based on postdoctoral research done in Dr. J. M. Siegel's laboratory at the Sepulveda VA Medical Center and University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Thannickal was a Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. V. C. Thomas at the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India, and received his Ph.D. in 1995. In 1996 he joined Dr. V. Mohan Kumar's laboratory at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, where he studied the basic mechanism of sleep. Dr. Thannickal moved to the United States in 1999 and, working with Dr. Siegel, investigated the neurophysiological basis of human narcolepsy. Their work indicated that narcolepsy is associated with a neurodegenerative process that causes significant loss of hypocretin neurons.

We thank our distinguished panel of judges: Dr. Charles Stevens (The Salk Institute, La Jolla), Dr. Storey Landis (NIH-NINDS, Bethesda), Dr. Eve Marder (Brandeis University, Waltham), Dr. Donald Kennedy (Editor-in-Chief, Science), and Dr. Katrina Kelner (Deputy Editor, Science).

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