Essays on Science and SocietyEPPENDORF 2007 WINNER

2007 Grand Prize Winner

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Science  26 Oct 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5850, pp. 585
DOI: 10.1126/science.318.5850.585

The author of the prize-winning essay, Rachel Wilson, received her AB degree in chemistry from Harvard in 1996. She began her training as a neurophysiologist with Helmut Haas at Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Düsseldorf and continued as a graduate student with Roger Nicoll at the University of California, San Francisco. In her graduate work, she showed that endogenous cannabinoids act as retrograde messengers at hippocampal synapses. In 2001, she joined Gilles Laurent's laboratory at the California Institute of Technology as a postdoctoral fellow. There, in collaboration with another postdoctoral fellow, Glenn Turner, she developed methods for performing whole-cell recordings from neurons in the adult Drosophila brain in vivo. In 2004, she joined the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. Her laboratory uses small neural circuits to study fundamental principles of sensory processing.


Marianne Hafting Fyhn, for her essay, “The Grid Map in the Brain.” Dr. Fyhn was born in Morehead City, North Carolina, USA, and grew up in Bergen, Norway. She did her undergraduate studies in biology at the Universities of Bergen, Oslo, and Tromsø before completing her master's thesis at the University of Tromsø in 1999 with work in Arctic biology at Spitsbergen. In 2000 she started her graduate work in neurobiology at the Centre for the Biology of Memory under the supervision of Dr. May-Britt and Dr. Edvard Moser at The Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim. She performed in vivo recordings of spatially modulated neurons from the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex of freely behaving rats and discovered “grid cells,” which are neurons in entorhinal cortex with a remarkable hexagonal activity pattern. Since receiving her Ph.D. in 2005, she has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for the Biology of Memory. Dr. Fyhn is a hiking, mountaineering, and fishing enthusiast. She has two small children with whom she enjoys outdoor activities.


For the full text of Dr. Fyhn's essay and for information about applying for next year's awards, see Science Online at

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