Eric Kandel, MD
Kavli Professor of Brain Science
Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science
Co-Director, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute
Eric R. Kandel, M.D., is University Professor at Columbia, Kavli Professor and Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Sciences, and a Senior Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
A graduate of Harvard College and N.Y.U. School of Medicine, Kandel trained in Neurobiology at the NIH and in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1974 as the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior.
Within the academic community, he is also admired as a teacher. He organized the neuroscience curriculum at Columbia and is an editor of Principles of Neural Science, the standard textbook in the field. He recently has written a book on the brain for the general public entitled In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind.
Eric Kandel's research has been concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage in Aplysia and mice. Kandel has received fifteen honorary degrees, is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as the National Science Academies of German and France. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the Heineken Award of the Netherlands, the Gairdner Award of Canada, the Wolf Prize of Israel, the National Medal of Science USA and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000.
We combine behavioral, cellular, and molecular biological approaches to delineate the changes that underlie simple forms of learning and memory in invertebrates and vertebrates. In invertebrates the focus of our research is on the gill-withdrawal reflex of Aplysia. We study three elementary forms of learning: habituation, sensitization, and classical conditioning. Recently we have reconstituted critical components of this learning in dissociated cell culture, and we now use the reconstituted system to examine the molecular mechanisms which contribute to short- and long-term memory.
In vertebrates we use genetically modified mice to examine the mechanisms of long-term potentiation in the mammalian hippocampus and its relation to spacial memory and maintenance.