Born to rich Catholic parents, John Lilly spent his childhood treating science as a hobby. While studying medicine, he performed gruelling medical experiments on himself. He later invented isolating floatation tanks, studied bottlenose dolphins, and researched on psychedelic drug-induced near-death experiences. He also explored yoga and human consciousness.
Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Eric Kandel is known for his research on the role of synapses in memory and learning. An Austrian Jew, he left his country with his family and moved to the U.S. in the wake of anti-Semitism. A doctor, specializing in psychiatry, he later taught at Columbia University.
John O'Keefe is an American-British neuroscientist and psychologist. He is best known for his discovery of place cells in the hippocampus. Along with May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2014. He is also the recipient of several other awards. He spent his entire academic career at the University College London.
Nathaniel Kleitman was an American sleep researcher and physiologist. Referred to as the father of modern sleep research, Kleitman is best remembered for writing his 1939 book Sleep and Wakefulness. Nathaniel Kleitman is also remembered for his association with the University of Chicago, where he served as Professor Emeritus in Physiology.
Fred Gage made waves in the scientific community with his research on neurons. He not only discovered stem cells in the human brain but also proved that environmental stimuli affects the growth of new cells. Some believe he is a descendant of legendary brain-injury survivor Phineas Gage.
Austrian-American neurophysiologist and psychiatrist Manfred Sakel is remembered for his pioneering use of the insulin shock therapy to treat patients of schizophrenia. Initially a researcher in Vienna, he fled to the US in the wake of the Nazi invasion. His brand of therapy was later replaced by electroconvulsive therapy.