Journal of Comparative Neurology

Cover image for Vol. 522 Issue 15

Edited By: PATRICK R. HOF

Impact Factor: 3.508

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 5/152 (Zoology); 91/251 (Neurosciences)

Online ISSN: 1096-9861

Cowan & Palay Awards


The W. Maxwell Cowan and Sanford L. Palay Awards were established by John Wiley and Sons in 2004 to honor two prominent neuroscientists who were Editors-in-Chief of The Journal of Comparative Neurology. The Awards are given by a jury, consisting of the Editors of the Journal of Comparative Neurology and the Officers of the Cajal Club, each year at the Cajal Club Annual Meeting at the Society for Neuroscience. The Palay Award, for Structural Neuroscience, is given in even numbered years, and the Cowan Award, for Developmental Neuroscience, in odd numbered years.

The recipients have included:

  • 2004 - Palay Award to Alan Peters
  • 2005 - Cowan Award to Carla J. Shatz
  • 2006 - Palay Award to Tomas Hökfelt and Kjell Fuxe
  • 2007 - Cowan Award to Andrew Lumsden
  • 2008 - Palay Award to Harvey J. Karten
  • 2009 - Cowan Award to Thomas M. Jessell
  • 2010 - Palay Award to Peter Somogyi
  • 2011 - Cowan Award to Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Special Cowan Award for Lifetime Achievement to Edward G. (Ted) Jones
  • 2012 – Palay Award to Clifford B. Saper
  • 2013 - Cowan Award to Pasko Rakic

The 2013 Cowan Award was presented to Dr. Pasko Rakic, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to developmental neuroscience as well as his continued support of the Journal of Comparative Neurology. Dr. Rakic received his MD in 1959 from the University of Belgrade, at the time in Yugoslavia, followed by graduate training at the same institution in developmental biology and genetics culminating in his PhD degree in 1969. He also entered residency training in neurosurgery and in 1969 moved to the USA to join the Department of Neurosurgery at Harvard University. He soon however was inspired to pursue his interests in basic neuroscience and moved to the Department of Neuroscience at Harvard. He was recruited in 1978 to Yale School of Medicine by Nobel laureate George F. Palade, as the first chair of the Department of Neurobiology, a position he still holds today as the Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience. He is also Professor of Neurology and Director of the Yale Kavli Institute for Neuroscience. In 1985, Dr Rakic was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. He became a foreign member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and in 1990, a correspondent member of Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and served as President of the Society for Neuroscience in 1995-96. In 1997, he received a Doctor honoris causa from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. He is also a member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Dr Rakic has been over the years a strong supporter of the Journal of Comparative Neurology, for which he serves as a member of the Editorial Board. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Cerebral Cortex, the journal he founded in 1990 with his wife, the late Patricia Goldman-Rakic. Dr Rakic made immense contributions to developmental and evolutionary neuroscience that changed the way we understand how the cerebral cortex develops. Most notably, two of his hypotheses had a particular impact on the field. The first is the radial unit hypothesis, which posits that in the developing cerebral cortex the cells are created at the base of radial columns, each new cell migrating past its predecessors. The second, the related protomap hypothesis, explored how external signals determine cell function as the cell matures and forms complex connections. This work was recognized in 2003 when he received the Annual Bristol-Meyers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research and in 2008, with Drs Thomas Jessell and Sten Grillner, of the first Kavli Prize for Neuroscience.

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