David C. Van Essen, PhD, the Alumni Endowed Professor of Neurobiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, will be awarded the George A. Miller Prize for distinguished scholarship by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society at the Society’s annual meeting on March 26.
The prize, awarded to researchers whose work has revolutionized the field of cognitive neuroscience, recognizes Van Essen’s groundbreaking work on mapping the human brain.
Van Essen studies the structure, function, development and connections between different parts of the human cerebral cortex — the crumpled outer layer of the brain that is key to language, attention, perception, memory and other functions. He previously led the Human Connectome Project, a large-scale effort to map brain circuits in healthy young adults, and he currently leads two projects that apply similar approaches to mapping the brain as it changes over the lifespan from childhood to old age.
Van Essen came to the School of Medicine in 1992 as the Edison Professor of Neurobiology and head of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology – now the Department of Neuroscience. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, served as president of the Society for Neuroscience, and has received numerous other awards.