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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has named Catherine Dulac, PhD and Cori Bargmann, PhD as co-recipients of the 11th Perl/UNC Neuroscience Prize.

The Perl prize carries a $10,000 award and is given to recognize a seminal achievement in neuroscience. Past recipients have included four subsequent winners of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. This year’s award honors Dulac and Bargmann for the “discovery of chemosensory circuits that regulate social behaviors.”

Dulac is the Chair and Higgins Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology in Harvard Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB). Dr. Bargmann is the Torsten N. Wiesel Professor in the Laboratory of Neural Circuits and Behavior at Rockefeller University. Both are Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators. “

I am very pleased to receive the Perl award, which has been awarded in the past to a such a distinguished group of neuroscientists, and I feel particularly honored to share it this year with Cori Bargmann, whose work I highly admire,” said Dulac.

The award committee noted that “Dr. Dulac discovered receptors for pheromones, molecules that allow animals to distinguish males from females (gender discrimination) and that influence sexual behaviors. She also identified the neural circuits where pheromone receptors function.”

The Perl prize is named for Dr. Edward R. Perl who is Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Cell and Molecular Physiology at UNC School of Medicine. Perl’s work in pain mechanisms has been highly influential. Thirty years ago, he was the first to prove that a particular class of nerve cells (now called nociceptors) responds exclusively to stimuli that are perceived as painful. These cells now are targets of intensive efforts to find drugs that block their function.

UNC School of Medicine dean William L. Roper will present Dr. Dulac’s share of the award April 21st on the UNC campus at 11:45am in room G202 in the Medical Biomolecular Research Building. Dr. Dulac will deliver her Perl Prize lecture immediately following the ceremony. Dr. Bargmann will receive her award and deliver her Perl Prize lecture at the 12th Annual UNC Neuroscience Symposium on October 13th.

Read more in HARVARDgazette

[April 27th, 2011]

View Catherine Dulac’s Faculty Profile

(L to R) Cori Bargmann and Catherine Dulac

(L to R) Cori Bargmann and Catherine Dulac