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Rockefeller neurobiologist to receive Benjamin Franklin Medal

Rockefeller University’s Fernando Nottebohm will receive the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia announced today. The medal recognizes Nottebohm’s discovery of neuronal replacement in the adult vertebrate brain and the elaboration of the mechanism and choreography of this phenomenon. His research shows that neuronal stem cells are responsible for replacement, generating a completely new approach towards understanding and treating brain injury and degenerative disease.

The Franklin Institute Awards are among the oldest in the world, started in 1824. They seek to honor individuals whose innovation has benefited humanity, advanced science and launched new fields of inquiry. In addition to life science, individual awards are given out in the areas of chemistry, computer and cognitive science, earth and environmental science, engineering and physics.

Nottebohm most recently received the Karl Spencer Lashley Award in 2004, which he shared with Masakazu Konishi, and the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research, also shared with Konishi and Peter Marler.

Nottebohm is Rockefeller’s Dorothea L. Leonhardt Professor and head of the Laboratory of Animal Behavior. He is also director of Rockefeller’s Field Research Center for Ecology and Ethology, in Millbrook, New York.

The medal will be presented at an awards ceremony to be held April 27 in Philadelphia.