Center Director

The Conte Center at The Rockefeller University is under the direction of Dr. Paul Greengard. Dr. Paul Greengard is Vincent Astor Professor and director of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at The Rockefeller University. He is author on over 1000 publications in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Paul Greengard, Ph.D.
Paul Greengard, Ph.D.
The Rockefeller University

He began his exploration of neurotransmitter function in 1948 when, after undergraduate work in mathematics and physics, he joined the Johns Hopkins biophysics laboratory then headed by pioneering neurobiologist Detlev Bronk. Although the Bronk lab's orientation was strictly physical, Greengard was allowed to do his Ph.D. research on the chemical changes associated with degeneration and loss of function in nerves. It was an early effort to understand the relationship of nerve function and biochemistry.

After receiving his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1953, Greengard spent five years in England receiving advanced training in brain biochemistry at the University of London, at Cambridge University, and at the National Institute of Medical Research. While in England, Greengard made important findings about the biochemical regulation of the physiological functioning of brain cells. Upon his return to the United States, Greengard worked as director of biochemistry at Geigy Research Laboratories, in Ardsley, New York, and at the same time served as a professor of pharmacology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In the early 1970s, while professor of pharmacology and psychiatry at Yale University, Greengard identified the first neurotransmitter receptor to be characterized biochemically, a receptor for the neurotransmitter dopamine. His work on the brain's dopamine system was among the accomplishments cited when he received the 1989 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research.

Dr. Greengard is a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2000 for illuminating a key type of intracellular communication, called synaptic transmission, in which chemical messengers carry signals from one brain cell to another. He has devoted over 30 years to teaching graduate students and guiding the research of postdoctoral scientists in the areas of signal transduction and protein phosphorylation.

In his laboratory at The Rockefeller University, Greengard has brought together an interdisciplinary team of biochemists, cell and molecular biologists, neurophysiologists, neurologists and psychiatrists dedicated to reaching a better understanding of neurodegenerative disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and schizophrenia in order to design more effective therapies.

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