Neuroscientists

A neuroscientist is a specialist in the study of the brain. Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system that deals with anatomy, physiology and molecular biology of nerves, spinal cord, and nervous tissue. Neuroscience is a very wide field; though considered a part of biology, it is multidisciplinary in nature and encompasses scientific fields like physics and mathematics also. Studying the brain and understanding it’s functioning is critical for many fields as the brain is involved in every endeavour taken up by human beings. Neuroscience in its various forms is applicable to fields like medicine, psychology, engineering, law, and education. The techniques used by neuroscientists includes preparing tissue and cell samples, molecular and cellular studies of individual nerve cells, and imaging of sensory and motor tasks in the brain. Traditional neuroscientists study psychiatric disorders of the brain while others may choose to work for pharmaceutical companies to develop medication for such disorders. Some of the major branches of neuroscience are affective neuroscience, behavioral neuroscience, clinical neuroscience and molecular neuroscience. This collection of biographies, trivia and timelines provides you information about the life and works of various famous neuroscientists from all over the world.
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 1 Sam Harris

Sam Harris
4
Famous As: Philosopher, Author
Birthdate: April 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

One of the "Four Horsemen of Atheism," neuroscientist and author Sam Harris is known for his works on topics such as religion, artificial intelligence, and terrorism. His books include the New York Times bestseller The End of Faith. He hosted the podcast Making Sense and released a meditation app, too.

 2 Francis Crick

Francis Crick
10
Famous As: Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner
Birthdate: June 8, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Weston Favell, Northamptonshire, England
Died: July 28, 2004

Nobel Prize-winning British biophysicist Francis Crick is best known for his ground-breaking work to determine the structure of the DNA, along with James Watson, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin. He taught at various institutes, such as the Salk Institute, and was also awarded the Order of Merit.

 3 Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks
4
Famous As: Scientist, Neurologist, Educator, Psychiatrist
Birthdate: July 9, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cricklewood, London, England
Died: August 30, 2015

Born to doctor parents, Oliver Sacks followed in their footsteps to become a neurologist. His successful treatment of people suffering from sleeping sickness in the 1920s inspired the book Awakenings and the Academy Award-nominated movie based on it. He also studied complexities involved in Tourette syndrome.

 4 Wilder Penfield

Wilder Penfield
3
Famous As: Surgeon, Neuroscientist, Neurosurgeon, University teacher, Neurologist
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spokane
Died: April 5, 1976

Neuroscientist Wilder Penfield redefined medical science with his innovative way of treating epilepsy patients through surgery. He would note down his patients’ responses when they would be conscious under local anesthesia. He also founded the Montreal Neurological Institute, but was unable to cure his sister’s brain cancer.

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 5 Rita Levi-Montalcini

Rita Levi-Montalcini
3
Famous As: Neurologist
Birthdate: April 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: December 30, 2012

Rita Levi-Montalcini was an Italian neurologist whose discovery of nerve growth factor earned her the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Throughout her life, Levi-Montalcini's work in neurobiology earned her several other honors and awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement and the European Academy of Sciences' Leonardo da Vinci Award.

 6 John Lilly

John Lilly
3
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: January 6, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: September 30, 2001

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.

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 7 Santiago Ramón y Cajal

Santiago Ramón y Cajal
3
Famous As: Father of Modern Neuroscience
Birthdate: May 1, 1852
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Petilla de Aragón, Navarre, Spain
Died: October 18, 1934

While he apprenticed as a cobbler and a barber in childhood, Santiago Ramón y Cajal later took up medicine inspired by his father, a professor of anatomy. Cajal’s study of the microscopic structure of the human brain later formed the basis of neuroscience and earned him a Nobel Prize.

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 8 Alexandra Elbakyan

Alexandra Elbakyan
9
Famous As: Programmer
Birthdate: November 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almaty, Kazakhstan
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 9 Eric Kandel

Eric Kandel
8
Famous As: Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Biochemist
Birthdate: November 7, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna

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.

 10 Antonio Damasio

Antonio Damasio
3
Famous As: Neuroscientists
Birthdate: February 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
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 11 Donald O. Hebb

Donald O. Hebb
3
Famous As: Psychologist best known for his theory of Hebbian learning, which he introduced in his classic 1949 work The Organization of Behavior
Birthdate: July 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada
Died: August 20, 1985

Though born to physicians, Donald O. Hebb had initially aspired to be a novelist. He later pioneered neuropsychology by merging elements of psychology and neuroscience, and thus establishing psychology as part of bio science. His iconic work The Organization of Behavior spoke about many innovate concepts such as Hebb’s Rule.

 12 Ricardo Rossello

Ricardo Rossello
9
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: March 7, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico

 13 May-Britt Moser

May-Britt Moser
3
Famous As: Psychologist
Birthdate: January 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fosnavåg, Norway

May-Britt Moser is a Norwegian neuroscientist and psychologist. She also serves as a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2014 for her work pertaining to the grid cells in the brain's entorhinal cortex. She shared the award with her then-husband, Edvard Moser.

 14 Franz Joseph Gall

Franz Joseph Gall
3
Famous As: Physician, Neuroscientist
Birthdate: March 9, 1758
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tiefenbronn
Died: August 22, 1828

German neuroanatomist and physiologist Franz Joseph Gall was the founding father of cranioscopy, or the determination of intelligence and personality traits from the shape of a person’s skull, now known as phrenology. He was also the first to separate the gray matter of the brain from the white matter.

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 15 Brenda Milner

Brenda Milner
5
Famous As: Neuroscientist, Psychologist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 15, 1918
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Manchester

Considered a pioneer in her field, centenarian neuropsychologist Brenda Milner is known for her immense contribution to clinical neuropsychology. Especially known for her work on memory and cognition, she has contributed immensely to the study of temporal lobe. Her papers on the frontal lobes in problem-solving and the lateralization of hemispheric function in language are also highly regarded by scholars.

 16 David H. Hubel

David H. Hubel
3
Famous As: Neurophysiologist
Birthdate: February 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Windsor, Canada
Died: September 22, 2013
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 17 Carl Wernicke

Carl Wernicke
2
Famous As: Anatomist, Physician, Neuroscientist, Psychiatrist, University teacher, Neurologist
Birthdate: May 15, 1848
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tarnowskie Góry
Died: June 15, 1905

German neurologist, pathologist, and anatomist Carl Wernicke is best remembered for his extensive work on the various types of aphasia, or disorders that hinder the ability to speak or write. He also distinguished between motor aphasia and sensory aphasia, or what is now known as Wernicke's aphasia.

 18 Paul Churchland

Paul Churchland
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: October 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

Canadian philosopher and academic Paul Churchland is best known for his research on eliminative materialism. Born to a science teacher father, he was obsessed with science fiction and initially aspired to become an aerodynamical engineer. He later studied philosophy and became a significant figure in the field of neurophilosophy.  

 19 Michael Persinger

Michael Persinger
2
Famous As: Psychologist, Neuroscientist, Ufologist, University teacher
Birthdate: June 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jacksonville

 20 Karl Deisseroth

Karl Deisseroth
2
Famous As: Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry
Birthdate: November 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

 21 Charles Bell

Charles Bell
2
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: November 12, 1774
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: April 28, 1842

Charles Bell was a Scottish surgeon, physiologist, anatomist, and neurologist. He was also an artist and philosophical theologian. He discovered the difference between sensory nerves and motor nerves in the spinal cord. He is also known for describing Bell's palsy. He played a key role in the creation of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. 

 22 David Servan-Schreiber

David Servan-Schreiber
2
Famous As: Neuroscientist and psychiatrist
Birthdate: April 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 24, 2011
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 23 Sir John Eccles

Sir John Eccles
2
Famous As: Neurophysiologist
Birthdate: January 27, 1903
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia
Died: May 2, 1997

Sir John Eccles was a philosopher and neurophysiologist whose services to physiological research earned him the title of Knight Bachelor in 1958. His work on the synapse earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, which he shared with Alan Lloyd Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley in 1963. The same year, he also received the Australian of the Year Award.

 24 Torsten Wiesel

Torsten Wiesel
2
Famous As: Neurophysiologist
Birthdate: June 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Uppsala, Sweden

Torsten Wiesel is a Swedish neurophysiologist whose work on ocular dominance columns along with David Hubel earned them the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Torsten Wiesel is also a human rights advocate whose work with non-governmental organizations earned him the David Rall Medal. He is also a founding member of a nonprofit establishment called the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization.

 25 Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield

Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield
4
Famous As: Politician, Biologist
Birthdate: October 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith

Apart from being a successful scientist with a focus on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, Susan Greenfield teaches pharmacology at the Lincoln College, Oxford. She is also part of the House of Lords and has penned a sci-fi novel. She supports causes such as Dignity in Dying, too.

 26 Edvard Moser

Edvard Moser
2
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: April 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alesund, Norway

Edvard Moser is a Norwegian neuroscientist best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2014 for his work pertaining to the grid cells in the brain's entorhinal cortex. He shared the prize with his then-wife May-Britt Moser, with whom he also founded the Moser research environment. Edvard Moser also serves as a professor at prestigious institutions.

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 27 Endel Tulving

Endel Tulving
2
Famous As: Neuroscientist, Psychologist
Birthdate: May 26, 1927
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pechory

Endel Tulving is an Estonian-born Canadian experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist. He is best known for his pioneering research on human memory. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and began his academic work at the University of Toronto, where he remained for the rest of his career. He is a recipient of the Canada Gairdner International Award. 

 28 Arvid Carlsson

Arvid Carlsson
2
Famous As: Neuropharmacologist
Birthdate: January 25, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Uppsala, Sweden
Died: June 29, 2018

Swedish pharmacologist Arvid Carlsson’s research work establishing dopamine as a significant neurotransmitter in the brain resulted in the development of drugs for Parkinson’s disease. In the year 2000, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work. During his career, he was also awarded the Wolf Prize in Medicine, the Japan Prize and Italy's Feltrinelli Prize.

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 29 Roderick MacKinnon

Roderick MacKinnon
4
Famous As: Professor, Chemist
Birthdate: February 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Burlington

 30 Henry Markram

Henry Markram
1
Famous As: Neuroscientist, University teacher, Neurologist
Birthdate: March 28, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: South Africa
Born in South Africa, Henry Markram completed his PhD in Israel and then moved to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar. The acclaimed neuroscientist and Brain Mind Institute founder now teaches at the EPFL in Switzerland. His now-famous Blue Brain Project was aimed at digitally reconstructing the mouse brain.
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 31 Paul Greengard

Paul Greengard
4
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: December 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

 32 Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond

Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond
1
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: November 7, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: December 26, 1896

 33 Gazi Yaşargil

Gazi Yaşargil
0
Famous As: Medical scientist
Birthdate: July 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lice, Turkey

 34 Michael Posner

Michael Posner
0
Famous As: Psychologist, Neuroscientist
Birthdate: September 12, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
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 35 Victor Horsley

Victor Horsley
1
Famous As: British surgeon
Birthdate: April 14, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 16, 1916

British neurosurgeon Victor Horsley created history when he conducted the first spinal tumor operation. His research also included studies on thyroid and rabies. He was also knighted for his achievements but died of a heat stroke while serving the British army’s medical team during World War I.

 36 Nathaniel Kleitman

Nathaniel Kleitman
1
Famous As: Physiologist
Birthdate: April 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moldova
Died: August 13, 1999
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 37 Eleanor Maguire

Eleanor Maguire
1
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: March 27, 1970
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Irish neuroscientist and UCL professor Eleanor Maguire is best known for her work on the role of the human brain, especially the hippocampus. One of her best-known works was on the spatial abilities of cab drivers in London. She has been named a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the British Academy.

 38 Tatyana Chernigovskaya

Tatyana Chernigovskaya
2
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: February 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

 39 Suzanne Corkin

Suzanne Corkin
1
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: May 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Died: May 24, 2016

 40 Patricia Goldman-Rakic

Patricia Goldman-Rakic
1
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: April 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salem, Massachusetts
Died: July 31, 2003

 41 Auguste Forel

Auguste Forel
1
Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: September 1, 1848
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morges, Switzerland
Died: July 27, 1931

Renowned Swiss neuroanatomist and psychiatrist Auguste Forel is known for his lifelong research on the human brain structure. He also devoted himself to social causes, such as the prevention of alcoholism. His early interest in insects led him to study the psychology of ants, too.

 42 Hiroshi Nakajima

Hiroshi Nakajima
6
Famous As: Doctor
Birthdate: May 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chiba, Chiba, Japan
Died: January 26, 2013

 43 Berta Scharrer

Berta Scharrer
1
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 1, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: July 23, 1995

 44 Daniela Schiller

Daniela Schiller
1
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: October 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rishon LeẔiyyon, Israel

 45 Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam
0
Famous As: Neuroscientist, Human rights activist
Birthdate: April 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kerman, Iran

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam is an Iranian-Norwegian neuroscientist. Born in Iran, he arrived in Norway as a refugee of minor age in 1985. He later obtained a Ph.D. at the Center for Neuroscience and Molecular Biology at the University of Oslo. He often collaborates with American Nobel Laureate Peter Agre. He is also a human rights advocate.  

 46 Sandra Witelson

Sandra Witelson
0
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Canada

 47 Michal Schwartz

Michal Schwartz
0
Famous As: Neuroimmunologist
Birthdate: January 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tel Aviv–Yafo, Israel

Michal Schwartz is an Israeli neuroimmunologist who is currently a professor of neuroimmunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science. She also holds the Ilse Katz Professorial Chair in Neuroimmunology. Her works helped to expand the field of immunology in neuroscience, and she discovered new roles for immune cells in neurogenesis.  

 48 Louis Sokoloff

Louis Sokoloff
0
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: October 14, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 30, 2015

 49 Robert Galambos

Robert Galambos
0
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: April 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio, United States
Died: June 18, 2010

 50 Miguel Nicolelis

Miguel Nicolelis
0
Famous As: Neuroscientist best known for his pioneering work surrounding brain-machine interface technology
Birthdate: March 7, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil