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July 15, 2002
Stanford University Neurobiologist to speak at next Friday Evening Lecture at the Marine Biological Laboratory

WOODS HOLE, MA—William T. Newsome, a Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, will present the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) Forbes Lectures, part of the Laboratory's 2002 Friday Evening Lecture Series. The lectures will be held on Thursday, July 18 and Friday July 19 in the MBL's Lillie Auditorium, located on MBL Street in Woods Hole. Both lectures begin at 8:00 PM and are free and open to the public.

Since 1959, the special two-part lecture has been supported by The Grass Foundation, a private foundation which supports research and education in neuroscience. The lectures are given in honor of pioneering neurobiologist Alexander Forbes. Traditionally, the Forbes lecturer also spends several weeks at the MBL, working alongside the Grass Fellowship Program.

Psychologists have long known that decision-making is influenced not only by a sensory stimulus, but also by an organism’s prior beliefs about the "value" of the alternative choices in terms of positive or aversive consequences. Brain circuitry that mediates decision-making must presumably reflect both influences. Dr. Newsome will speak about his research that has demonstrated both effects at the behavioral and neurophysiological levels in his July 18 talk, titled "Making Decisions: The Brain’s Link Between Perception and Action."

In his July 19 talk, titled "Seeing Motion: Linking Neurophysiology to Perceptual Psychology," Dr. Newsome will discuss his research which examines how visual stimuli are translated into decisions.

William T. Newsome received his B.S. in Physics from Stetson University in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology in 1979, where he did postdoctoral work from 1979 until 1980. From 1980 to 1984, Dr. Newsome was a staff Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Sensorimotor Research at the National Eye Institute. Dr. Newsome then held positions of Assistant Professor (1984-1988) in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Associate Professor (1988-1993) in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he has been a Professor since 1993. From 1995 to 1996, Dr. Newsome was McDonnell-Pew Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford and Senior Visiting Research Fellow at St. Johns College, Oxford. Since 1997, Dr. Newsome has been an Investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Newsome has received numerous honors, including The Golden Brain Award, awarded by the Minerva Foundation in Berkeley, California, the MERIT Award (R37) from the National Eye Institute, the W. Alden Spencer Award from Columbia University, and a 1995 Guggenheim Fellowship, among others. In 2000, Dr. Newsome was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. He is a member of several professional societies, including the Society for Neuroscience, the International Brain Research Organization, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Society for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Felix E. Schweizer will introduce Dr. Newsome on July 18. Dr. Schweizer received his Diploma in Biology in1983 and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in1989 from the University of Basel, Switzerland. Upon completing his degree, Dr. Schweizer was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Switzerland from 1989 to 1990. From 1990 to 1994, Dr. Schweizer was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University Medical Center, and from 1994 to 1998, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Research Associate in the Department of Neurobiology at Duke University. Since 1998, Dr. Schweizer has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has received numerous honors, most recently a Stein-Oppenheimer grant. Dr. Schweizer was a student in the Neurobiology course at the MBL in 1986, where he later served as a member of the faculty (1998-2000). He was a Grass Fellow in 1994, and served as Associate Director of the Grass Laboratory at MBL in 1997. Dr. Schweizer is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Society for General Physiologists, and the USGEB (Association of Swiss Societies for Experimental Biology).

Eve Marder will introduce Dr. Newsome on July 19. Dr. Marder received her A.B. in Biology from Brandeis University in 1969 and her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, San Diego in 1974. She was a postdoctoral fellow first in the Biology Department of the University of Oregon from 1974 to 1975 then in the Laboratoire de Neurobiologie at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France from1975 to 1978. Dr. Marder was an Assistant Professor (1979-1984) and an Associate Professor (1984-1990) in the Department of Biology at Brandeis University, where she has been Professor in the Department of Biology and Volen Center since 1990. Dr. Marder was the Cornelius Wiersma Visiting Professor of Biology at Caltech in 1994 and has been the Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfeld Professor of Neuroscience at Brandeis University since 1994. Dr. Marder is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Neuroscience, the Biophysical Society, and the International Society for Neuroethology. She has received numerous fellowships and honors, including the McKnight Foundation Scholars Award, the Jacob Javits Award in Neuroscience, NINDs, the McKnight Foundation Development Award, and a 1995 MERIT Award, NIMH, among many others. She is on the editorial boards of several publications, including Journal of Neurophysiology, Journal of Neuroscience, Current Biology, Journal of Neurobiology, among others and sits on numerous neuroscience review panels.

The Marine Biological Laboratory is an independent scientific institution, founded in 1888, that undertakes the highest level of creative research and education in biology, including the biomedical and environmental sciences.