Robert W. Gereau IV, PhD, the Dr. Seymour and Rose T. Brown Professor and vice chair for research in the Department of Anesthesiology, has received the Landis Award for Outstanding Mentorship from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The award, one of six presented this year, is named for Story Landis, PhD, who directed the NINDS from 2003-14 and established programs to promote the development of neuroscientists.
Gereau, also a professor of neuroscience and director of the Washington University Pain Center, studies the molecular mechanisms involved in pain sensation. Much of the work in which he mentors pre- and postdoctoral trainees includes studies in optogenetics, which uses light to activate or deactivate nerve cells that transmit pain signals from the periphery of the body to the brain. The ability to visualize how neural circuits connect and transmit pain signals could allow for the development of new treatments and therapies for pain.
Nominations for the Landis Award are submitted by current and former trainees, and award recipients receive $100,000 to supplement their existing NINDS grant support and help subsidize the career advancement of trainees.