An interview with the winners of the 2020 Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology | Science

Recorded 01 October 2020

Interviewees

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The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology acknowledges the increasingly active and important role of neurobiology in advancing our understanding of the functioning of the brain and the nervous system—a quest that seems destined for dramatic expansion in the coming decades.

The 2020 prize winner and finalists are a passionate and engaged group who are carrying out fascinating work at the forefront of their respective fields. Listen in as they are interviewed by Dr. Sean Sanders, Director and Senior Editor for Custom Publishing at Science. They talk about their research and how it intersects with their personal interests, as well as the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on their professional lives.

This international prize, established in 2002, encourages the work of promising young neurobiologists by providing support in the early stages of their careers. It is awarded annually for

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Discovery originates in marine biological laboratory’s neurobiology course — ScienceDaily

The dialogue between neurons is of critical importance for all nervous system activities, from breathing to sensing, thinking to running. Yet neuronal communication is so fast, and at such a small scale, that it is exceedingly difficult to explain precisely how it occurs. A preliminary observation in the Neurobiology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), enabled by a custom imaging system, has led to a clear understanding of how neurons communicate with each other by modulating the “tone” of their signal, which previously had eluded the field. The report, led by Grant F. Kusick and Shigeki Watanabe of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is published this week in Nature Neuroscience.

In 2016 Watanabe, then on the Neurobiology course faculty, introduced students to the debate over how many synaptic vesicles can fuse in response to one action potential (see this 2-minute video for a quick brush-up on neurotransmission). To

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