Journal of Comparative Neurology

Cover image for Vol. 526 Issue 6

Edited By: PATRICK R. HOF

Impact Factor: 3.266

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 6/163 (Zoology); 103/259 (Neurosciences)

Online ISSN: 1096-9861

Cowan & Palay Awards


The W. Maxwell Cowan and Sanford L. Palay Awards were established by John Wiley & Sons in 2004 to honor two prominent neuroscientists who were Editors-in-Chief of The Journal of Comparative Neurology (JCN). The Awards are given by a jury, consisting of the Editors of the JCN 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:

  • 2016 - Palay Awards to Floyd Bloom and John Morrison
  • 2015 - Cowan Award to Mary E. Hatten
  • 2014 - Palay Awards to Jon Kaas and Ray Guillery
  • 2013 - Cowan Award to Pasko Rakic
  • 2012 – Palay Award to Clifford B. Saper
  • 2011 - Cowan Award to Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Special Cowan Award for Lifetime Achievement to Edward G. (Ted) Jones
  • 2010 - Palay Award to Peter Somogyi
  • 2009 - Cowan Award to Thomas M. Jessell
  • 2008 - Palay Award to Harvey J. Karten
  • 2007 - Cowan Award to Andrew Lumsden
  • 2006 - Palay Award to Tomas Hökfelt and Kjell Fuxe
  • 2005 - Cowan Award to Carla J. Shatz
  • 2004 - Palay Award to Alan Peters

2017 Cowan Award

Fred GageThe 2017 Cowan Award was presented to Dr. Fred ("Rusty") Gage for outstanding contributions in developmental neuroscience.

Dr. Fred (“Rusty”) Gage received his BS degree from the University of Florida and his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He did his post-doctoral work at Lund University in Sweden, under the direction of Dr. Anders Björklund. Dr. Gage is currently the Adler Professor on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases in the Laboratory of Genetics at the Salk Institute and a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of California San Diego. He is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Member of the National Academy of Inventors, a Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a former President of the Society for Neuroscience.

Dr. Gage’s research interests encompass the entire landscape of neurodevelopmental biology. He has pioneered neurogenesis, reporting the continuous incorporation of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, and investigating the functional significance of adult-born neurons for the molecular basis of memory encoding. These studies have evident relevance for basic mechanisms of memory deficits during aging and neurodegenerative disorders. This led him to use patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells as a unique model of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders permitting to analyze the genetic makeup of patients in comparison to healthy individuals, and offering clinically crucial outcomes toward the development of diagnostic tools and innovative therapies.

Dr. Gage is also studying neuronal mosaicism and diversity, demonstrating that during neurogenesis, mobile elements such as LINE-1 and Alu retrotransposons, play a key role in contributing neuron-specific genomic diversity. He is investigating the potential role of mobile element-derived genomic diversity in the initiation of progression of brain disorders, using single cell genome isolation and next generation sequencing. Lastly, Dr. Gage is studying the molecular differences among primate to understand the evolution and uniqueness of the human brain. Using reprogramming technology, he could generate induced pluripotent stem cells and produce neurons derived from our closest relatives, the great apes. This unique biological resource has the potential to provide insight on evolutionary adaptation and phenotypical differences within the human lineage, and contribute to the understanding of the unique specialization of the human brain and of its vulnerability to neuropsychiatric diseases.

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