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2023 Ceremony

Pearl Meister Greengard Prize


An International Award Recognizing Outstanding Women in Biomedical Research
5:45 – 6:30 PM Reception
6:30 – 7:30 PM Ceremony
Caspary Auditorium
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue at East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065



Lily Jan, Ph.D.

Lily Jan, Ph.D.

Jack and DeLoris Lange Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
University of California, San Francisco
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Eve Marder, Ph.D.

Eve Marder, Ph.D.

Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor
Brandeis University

The nervous system mediates an astonishing range of biological activity by relaying chemical and electrical messages between neurons. This year’s prize recipients have both made profound contributions in understanding the nervous system’s development and function. Along the way, they have also been dedicated mentors to a new generation of neuroscientists.

Lily Jan is widely known for her discovery that peptides, short chains of amino acids, can act as neurotransmitters that help to transfer messages from one neuron to another. Her research—which has been pursued in close collaboration with her husband, Dr. Yuh Nung Jan—has also provided landmark advances in understanding the function and regulation of potassium channels, which, among other cellular roles, modulate neuronal signaling in the brain. Dr. Jan completed her Ph.D. and initial postdoctoral training at Caltech. She joined the faculty at UC San Francisco in 1979 and has been an HHMI investigator since 1984. Dr. Jan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Academia Sinica (Taiwan).

Eve Marder is most recognized for her work understanding the modulation of neural networks. Studying the lobster stomatogastric nervous system—consisting of just 30 neurons that control the muscles in the lobster digestive tract—Dr. Marder has made groundbreaking discoveries about the dynamics of neuronal circuits, which balance the needs for both homeostasis and plasticity. Dr. Marder completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral training at UC San Diego, joining the faculty of Brandeis in 1978. Dr. Marder served as president of the Society for Neuroscience and on the working group for President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine.


Ellen V. Futter

Ellen V. Futter

President Emerita
American Museum of Natural History

Ellen Futter served as the president of the American Museum of Natural History from 1993 to March 2023, and was the first woman to head a major New York City museum. She is recognized for modernizing the historic institution. Under her leadership, AMNH opened two beloved hubs of science: The Rose Center for Earth and Space and the recently opened Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. It also became the first Museum in the country authorized to grant its own Ph.D. (in Comparative Biology) and Masters in Teaching Science (in Earth Science). Ms. Futter previously served as president of Barnard College, and was the youngest person to be appointed president of a major American college. She has also been a corporate attorney and was the first woman to Chair the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ms. Futter graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College and earned her J.D. from Columbia Law School.

The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, awarded annually by Rockefeller University, was established by the late Dr. Paul Greengard, who served as the university’s Vincent Astor Professor, and his wife, the sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard. Dr. Greengard donated his monetary share of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Rockefeller and, in partnership with generous supporters of the university, created this major international prize. The prize is named in memory of Dr. Greengard’s mother, who died giving birth to him. An exhibit honoring the recipients and presenters of the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize was installed at Rockefeller University in 2021.


Amanda Martinez
Director, Women & Science Initiative
The Rockefeller University
1230 York Avenue, Box 164
New York, NY 10065

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