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Canadian scientist receives prestigious US neuroscience award


Montreal, QC – January 21, 2004 – McGill University professor Dr Brenda Milner will receive the 2004 Award in the Neurosciences from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) headquartered in Washington, DC. The US$25,000 prize is awarded every three years in recognition of extraordinary contributions to progress in the fields of neuroscience.

Dr Milner is the Dorothy J Killam Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute, and a professor in the department of neurology and neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University. She is the first scientist outside of the United States to receive this award, which will be presented on April 19 at a ceremony in Washington, DC.

“Brenda Milner is one of the giants of our time her delineation of memory dysfunction after lesions of the hippocampus has provided the basis for modern understanding of memory and for the divisions of memory storage mechanisms into explicit and implicit forms,” says Dr Eric Kandel, university professor in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University (New York), senior investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Nobel laureate (Physiology or Medicine, 2000) and MNI advisory board member. “The origins of modern cognitive neuroscience of memory can be traced directly to her rigorous and imaginative studies.”

Dr Milner’s current research focuses on the specialization of the brain hemispheres. She and her colleagues are using sophisticated brain imaging technologies to examine differences between the right and left hemispheres. She is particularly interested in the role of the right hemisphere in remembering the location of objects.

Elected to the NAS in 1976, she is one of only 14 foreign associates from Canada. She is the recipient of more than two dozen honorary degrees and professional awards. In addition, she is a fellow of the Royal Society and holds the Order of Canada.