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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2009

WSU symposium brings together leading neuroscientists from around the world to honor Dr. Lorne Mendell

WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine event features presentations on current research, tributes to neuroscience pioneer

DAYTON, Ohio-All scientists build on the work of those who came before, as well as the guidance and training of various teachers and mentors. Rarely, however, do they have a chance to express their gratitude publicly and directly to a role model whose work inspired them or whose teaching provided a foundation for their own success.

On June 18 and 19, more than 40 leading neuroscientists from around the world will have just such an opportunity during a special symposium hosted by the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in honor of Dr. Lorne Mendell. Neuroscientists from top universities and private institutions throughout North America will join colleagues from as far away as the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia to discuss their research and pay tribute to Dr. Mendell during a series of presentations and panel discussions.

The symposium, entitled "Mechanisms of Plasticity in Neuronal Connections," will take place in the Ponitz Sinclair Center on the campus of Sinclair Community College in downtown Dayton. Presentations will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday. The symposium is free and open to the public, but meals will not be provided.

In addition to bringing together some of the finest minds in modern science to exchange updates and ideas, the symposium represents a unique opportunity for local students, researchers, scientists, and others to learn from and interact with international leaders in the field.

Dr. Lorne Mendell is Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he served as chair of the department for twenty years until 2006. Before coming to Stony Brook, he held the position of professor of physiology and pharmacology at Duke University Medical Center after earning a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completing post-doctoral work at Harvard University Medical School.

In collaboration with other researchers, Dr. Mendell has advanced neuroscience through groundbreaking work such as the discovery of the "windup" phenomenon in the spinal cord, development of the "spike-triggered averaging" procedure and investigations of spinal cord plasticity, properties of sensory neurons and nerve growth factor (NGF). His current work focuses on ways to restore function following spinal cord injury.

Dr. Mendell's research has been funded continuously since 1969 by grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also for the past eight years by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. In addition to his service on numerous organization and editorial boards and committees (among them a term as president of the Society for Neuroscience), Dr. Mendell has won numerous awards, including, on two occasions, the Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

In addition to training more than 30 Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows directly-many of whom will be attending the symposium-Dr. Mendell has influenced an entire generation of neuroscientists through his research.