Neuroscientists

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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
(Philosopher, Author)
Sam Harris
6
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
(Co-discoverer of the Structure of the DNA Molecule, Nobel Prize Winner)
Francis Crick
10
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 
John Lilly
(Physician, Neuroscientist, Psychoanalyst and Inventor of 'Isolation Tank')
John Lilly
3
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.

 4 
Oliver Sacks
(Scientist, Neurologist, Educator, Psychiatrist)
Oliver Sacks
4
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.

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 5 
Rita Levi-Montalcini
(Italian Neurologist Who Won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Rita Levi-Montalcini
3
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 
Wilder Penfield
(Surgeon, Neuroscientist, Neurosurgeon, University teacher, Neurologist)
Wilder Penfield
3
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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 7 
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
(Father of Modern Neuroscience)
Santiago Ramón y Cajal
3
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.

 8 
Alexandra Elbakyan
(Programmer)
Alexandra Elbakyan
9
Birthdate: November 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Almaty, Kazakhstan
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 9 
Antonio Damasio
(Neuroscientists)
Antonio Damasio
3
Birthdate: February 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lisbon, Portugal
 10 
Donald O. Hebb
(Psychologist best known for his theory of Hebbian learning, which he introduced in his classic 1949 work The Organization of Behavior)
Donald O. Hebb
3
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.

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 11 
Eric Kandel
(Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Neuroscientist, Psychologist, Biochemist)
Eric Kandel
10
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.

 12 
Ricardo Rossello
(Politician)
Ricardo Rossello
11
Birthdate: March 7, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico
 13 
May-Britt Moser
(Norwegian Psychologist, Neuroscientist and 2014 Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine)
May-Britt Moser
3
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
(Physician, Neuroscientist)
Franz Joseph Gall
3
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 
David H. Hubel
(Neurophysiologist)
David H. Hubel
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Windsor, Canada
Died: September 22, 2013
 16 
Brenda Milner
(Neuroscientist, Psychologist, University teacher)
Brenda Milner
5
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.

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 17 
Paul Churchland
(Philosopher)
Paul Churchland
3
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.  

 18 
Carl Wernicke
(Anatomist, Physician, Neuroscientist, Psychiatrist, University teacher, Neurologist)
Carl Wernicke
2
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.

 19 
Karl Deisseroth
(Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry)
Karl Deisseroth
2
Birthdate: November 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
 20 
Michael Persinger
(Psychologist, Neuroscientist, Ufologist, University teacher)
Michael Persinger
2
Birthdate: June 26, 1945
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Jacksonville
 21 
Sir John Eccles
(Neurophysiologist)
Sir John Eccles
2
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.

 22 
Torsten Wiesel
(Neurophysiologist)
Torsten Wiesel
2
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.

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 23 
David Servan-Schreiber
(Neuroscientist and psychiatrist)
David Servan-Schreiber
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 24, 2011
 24 
Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield
4
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.

 25 
Edvard Moser
(Norwegian Neuroscientist and Co-Discoverer of 'Grid Cells' in the Brain & the Identification of their Function)
Edvard Moser
2
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.

 26 
Endel Tulving
(Neuroscientist, Psychologist)
Endel Tulving
2
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. 

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 27 
Arvid Carlsson
(Neuropharmacologist)
Arvid Carlsson
2
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.

 28 
Roderick MacKinnon
(Professor, Chemist)
Roderick MacKinnon
4
Birthdate: February 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Burlington
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 29 
Henry Markram
(Neuroscientist, University teacher, Neurologist)
Henry Markram
1
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.
 30 
Paul Greengard
(Neuroscientist)
Paul Greengard
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City
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 31 
Miguel Nicolelis
(Neuroscientist best known for his pioneering work surrounding brain-machine interface technology)
Miguel Nicolelis
1
Birthdate: March 7, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
 32 
Michael Posner
(Psychologist, Neuroscientist)
Michael Posner
0
Birthdate: September 12, 1936
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
 33 
Emil du Bois-Reymond
(German Physiologist and Physician Who Developed Experimental Electrophysiology and Co-Discovering Nerve Action Potential)
Emil du Bois-Reymond
1
Birthdate: November 7, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: December 26, 1896

Emil Heinrich Du Bois-Reymond was a German physiologist and physician. He is credited with developing experimental electrophysiology and co-discovering nerve action potential. He was also a renowned teacher and is known for his association with the University of Berlin where he served as a professor.

 34 
Gazi Yaşargil
(Medical scientist)
Gazi Yaşargil
0
Birthdate: July 6, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lice, Turkey
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 35 
Victor Horsley
(British surgeon)
Victor Horsley
1
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
(Physiologist)
Nathaniel Kleitman
1
Birthdate: April 26, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moldova
Died: August 13, 1999
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 37 
Eleanor Maguire
(Neuroscientist)
Eleanor Maguire
1
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 
Patricia Goldman-Rakic
1
Birthdate: April 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Salem, Massachusetts
Died: July 31, 2003
 39 
Tatyana Chernigovskaya
2
Birthdate: February 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
 40 
Suzanne Corkin
(Neuroscientist)
Suzanne Corkin
1
Birthdate: May 18, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut
Died: May 24, 2016
 41 
Hiroshi Nakajima
6
Birthdate: May 16, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chiba, Chiba, Japan
Died: January 26, 2013
 42 
Fred Gage
(American Neuroscientist Known for His Discovery of Stem Cells in the Adult Human Brain)
Fred Gage
1
Birthdate: October 8, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: United States

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.

 43 
Berta Scharrer
(Scientist)
Berta Scharrer
1
Birthdate: December 1, 1906
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: July 23, 1995
 44 
Manfred Sakel
(American Neurophysiologist and Psychiatrist Known for Developing Insulin Shock Therapy)
Manfred Sakel
1
Birthdate: June 6, 1900
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nadvirna, Ukraine
Died: December 2, 1957

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.

 45 
Daniela Schiller
(Neuroscientist)
Daniela Schiller
1
Birthdate: October 26, 1972
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rishon LeẔiyyon, Israel
 46 
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam
(Neuroscientist, Human rights activist)
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam
0
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.  

 47 
Sandra Witelson
(Neuroscientist)
Sandra Witelson
0
Birthplace: Canada
 48 
Michal Schwartz
(Neuroimmunologist)
Michal Schwartz
0
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.  

 49 
Louis Sokoloff
(Neuroscientist)
Louis Sokoloff
0
Birthdate: October 14, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 30, 2015
 50 
Robert Galambos
(Neuroscientist)
Robert Galambos
0
Birthdate: April 20, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lorain, Ohio, United States
Died: June 18, 2010