Cori Bargmann and Catherine Dulac win Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize

Congratulations to Cori Bargmann and Catherine Dulac for the award of the 11th Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize for their "Discovery of chemosensory circuits that regulate social behaviors." Cori Bargmann has received three research grants from HFSP in 1992, 1997 and 2001. Catherine Dulac has supervised three HFSP postdoctoral fellows.

From the press release issued by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: "Dr. Dulac discovered receptors for pheromones, molecules that allow animals to distinguish males from females (sex discrimination) and that influence sexual behaviors. She also identified the neural circuits where pheromone receptors function. Dr. Bargmann has used the simple invertebrate, C. elegans to study the interplay between environment, experience, and intrinsic properties of neural circuits in animal behavior. Using sophisticated neural circuit dissection and population genetics, she has discovered how sensory inputs and genes regulate a network that controls solitary verses social feeding behaviors," said Dr. William Snider, director of the UNC Neuroscience Center and head of the selection committee for the prize.

The Perl prize carries a $10,000 award and is given to recognize a seminal achievement in neuroscience. Past recipients have included four subsequent winners of the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine. Dr. Edward R. Perl is Sarah Graham Kenan Professor of Cell and Molecular Physiology at the UNC School of Medicine. Perl's work in pain mechanisms has been highly influential. Thirty years ago, he was the first to prove that a particular class of nerve cells (now called nociceptors) responds exclusively to stimuli that are perceived as painful. These cells now are targets of intensive efforts to find drugs that block their function.