Professor Eric Kandel ForMemRS
Kavli Professor and Director, Kavli Institute of Brain Science, Columbia University and Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Kandel’s work has uncovered fundamental mechanisms of learning and memory. His research shows how learning elicits changes in behavior by modifying the strength of synaptic connections, and has delineated biochemical changes that accompany memory formation. Through Kandel’s work, we know that short-term memory modulates the strength of pre-existing synapses whereas long-term memory involves the activation of genes that direct new synaptic connections. Collectively, his studies have revealed how neurons respond to chemical signals to produce coordinated changes in behavior. This work is central to understanding normal memory and has provided insight into the root causes of disorders that impair memory.