Hollins Alumna Earns Society for Neuroscience’s Premier Prize

Mary Beth Hatten '71

Mary Elizabeth “Mary Beth” Hatten ’71 has received the 2017 Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience, the highest recognition conferred by the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).

The prize honors an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to neuroscience throughout his or her career.

Hatten is the Frederick P. Rose Professor in the Laboratory of Developmental Neurobiology at The Rockefeller University in New York City. She joined Rockefeller in 1992 and was appointed the university’s first female full professor and the first female to lead a research laboratory there. Her work has implications for conditions that are partially due to developmental abnormalities in the brain, such as learning disabilities, childhood epilepsy, schizophrenia, and autism. Her work on cerebellar development may one day inform research on treatments for childhood cancers. Her previous accolades include the Faculty Award for Women Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation; the Max Cowan Award, which honors a neuroscientist for outstanding work in developmental neuroscience; and election to the National Academy of Sciences.

“On behalf of SfN, it is my pleasure to congratulate Dr. Hatten and to thank her for her outstanding research contributions and the role they have played in advancing our understanding of how the brain develops,” SfN President Eric Nestler said. “As an internationally recognized leader in developmental neurobiology, she has made crucial discoveries of basic mechanisms of neurogenesis and neuronal migration during development.”

SfN is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 38,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.