Mark F. Bear, PhD

Mark Bear - Cropped

Dr. Mark Bear is a Picower Professor of Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and a past Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  Dr. Bear served as Director of The Picower Institute from 2007 to 2009. Prior to moving to MIT in 2003, Dr. Bear was on the faculty of Brown University School of Medicine for 17 years. After receiving his B.S. degree from Duke University, he earned his Ph.D. degree in neurobiology at Brown. He took postdoctoral training from Wolf Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and from Leon Cooper at Brown. Bear’s laboratory has substantially advanced knowledge of how cerebral cortex is modified by experience. Dr. Bear has made fundamental discoveries on bidirectional synaptic plasticity, metaplasticity, the molecular basis of amblyopia (a cause of visual disability in children), and the pathophysiology of fragile X syndrome (the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability and autism). Dr. Bear has won multiple awards that include the United States Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, The Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, the Brown University Class of 2000 Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Teaching Excellence, the William and Enid Rosen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Understanding Fragile X Syndrome, National Fragile X Foundation Pioneer Award, and the Ray Fuller Award, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Bear been at the forefront of the efforts to translate knowledge of synaptic plasticity into new treatments for autism and amblyopia.


Dennis Choi, MD, PhD

P70Dr. Dennis Choi is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and Director of the Neurosciences Institute at Stony Brook University. Prior positions have included Executive Vice President at the Simons Foundation, Vice President for Academic Health Affairs at Emory University, Executive Vice President for Neuroscience at Merck Research Labs, and Head of Neurology at Washington University Medical School. Dr. Choi received his M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program, as well as a Ph.D. in pharmacology and neurology training from Harvard. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and member of the National Academy of Medicine. He has served previously as President of the Society for Neuroscience, Vice-President of the American Neurological Association, and Chairman of the U.S./Canada Regional Committee of the International Brain Research Organization. He has been a member of the Board on Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences, and Councils for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute on Aging, the Society for Neuroscience, the Winter Conference for Brain Research, the International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, and the Neurotrauma Society.  In his early work, Dr. Choi was co-discoverer of the mechanism of benzodiazepine drugs, a class of drugs used to treat conditions such as seizures, anxiety and muscle spasms. Dr. Choi is a pioneer in dissecting processes responsible for pathological neurodegeneration, and has been a pioneer in developing the field of neuroprotection and identifying mechanisms responsible for nervous system injury in disease states, especially ischemia and trauma, and developing therapeutic countermeasures. Dr Choi was a key scientist to unravel the importance of  excitotoxicity and calcium overload in neuronal degeneration, and to  later contributed to  understanding programmed cell death and disturbances in the homeostasis of other ions, including potassium and zinc.

Guy Rouleau, MD, PhD, FRCP(C), OQ

Dr Guy Rouleau - Cropped

Dr. Guy Rouleau is the Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, and the Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University.  Dr. Rouleau received his MD (Magna Cum Laude) in 1980 from the University of Ottawa and a PhD in 1989 in Genetics at Harvard University; his clinical training in Neurology was conducted at McGill University from 1980-1985. Dr Rouleau was a faculty member at McGill University for 15 years before he moved to the University of Montreal, where he created the Center for Excellence in Neuroscience and became Director of the Ste-Justine Hospital Research Center. He returned to McGill in 2013 to take up his current positions. Dr. Rouleau has received numerous awards, including the Michael Smith Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Margolese National Brain Disorders Prize from the University of British Columbia, the Prix du Québec – Wilder Penfield from the Government of Québec, and the 2014 Prix d ’Excellence of the Collège des Médecins du Québec. He was made an Officer of the National Order of Québec. He is or was a member of many Scientific Advisory Boards including the Généthon (Evry France), the Fondation Jean Dausset (Paris) and the IGBMC (Strasbourg). He served on the Science, Technology and Innovation Council, Government of Canada. He has also served on numerous company boards (Xenon Genetics Inc, Emerillon Therapeutics Inc, Biocapital Inc). Over the last 25 years, Dr. Rouleau’s work has focused on understanding the genetic basis for diseases of the brain. Specifically, he has significantly contributed to the identification of dozens of disease-causing genes and he works on numerous neurological and psychiatric diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, restless legs syndrome, familial aneurysms, cavernous angiomas, epilepsy, spinocerebellar ataxia, spastic paraplegia, autism, Tourette syndrome, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. His laboratory endeavors to understand the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, hereditary sensory neuropathies and restless legs syndrome using cell and animal models