GERALD M. EDELMAN

Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine in 1972, is President of Neuroscience Research Foundation and Director of the Neuroscience Institute, as well as the Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at The Scripps Research Institute. He earned a B.S. degree from Ursinus College, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from the Rockefeller Institute. He also has numerous honorary degrees from institutions, as diverse as Williams College, the University of Paris, and the University of Cagliari in Sardinia. Dr. Edelman's early studies of the structure and diversity of antibodies led to his Nobel award; he then began research into the mechanisms involved in the regulation of primary cellular processes, particularly the control of cell growth and the development of multicellular organisms. In work focusing on cell to cell interactions, Dr. Edelman identified cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), which help guide the fundamental processes by which an animal achieves its shape and form and by which nervous systems are built. At the juncture of these two discoveries lies the basis of Dr. Edelman's theory of the development and organization of higher brain functions in terms of a process known a neuronal group selection, described in his 1987 book, Neural Darwinism. Dr. Edelman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute de France. He is the author of several books and over 400 research publications.