Ed Boyden Awarded Wilhelm Exner Medal


NYSCF – Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Alumnus and Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT Ed Boyden, PhD, will receive the prestigious 2020 Wilhelm Exner Medal – an award conferred to scientists whose work opens up “new dimensions of economic progress.”

Dr. Boyden has pioneered groundbreaking neurotechnologies including optogenetics (a method for controlling neurons using light) and expansion microscopy (a tool that allows researchers to study incredibly small and hard to access portions of the brain by pulling apart biomolecules). His revolutionary work earned him a NYSCF — Robertson Neuroscience Investigator Award in 2011, and continues to change the way researchers study the brain’s circuits: how they function, how they go awry in disease, and how we can fix them when that happens. His technologies are widely applied throughout industry, and he has launched several startups (Elemind, Expansion Technologies, SynLife, and Cognito) to leverage their capabilities.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award, which recognizes not only the basic science impact of our group’s work, but the impact of the work in the industrial and startup worlds,” Dr. Boyden told MIT News.

The Wilhelm Exner Medal has been previously won by 22 Nobel Laureates. Dr. Boyden will accept the award this November at the Exner symposium – a meeting that brings scientists and economists together to hear about the recipient’s work.

“I am so thrilled that Ed has received this honor,” added Robert Desimone, Director of the McGovern Institute at MIT. “Ed’s work has transformed neuroscience, through optogenetics, expansion microscopy, and other findings that are pushing biotechnology forward too.”

“Dr. Boyden has unquestionably changed and expanded many scientific fields through his novel inventions and out-of-the-box thinking,” remarked NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon. “His unique approaches have gifted the scientific community with incredible new tools, and he is very deserving of this recognition.”

Congratulations, Dr. Boyden!

Learn more about Dr. Boyden’s innovations.

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