De Camilli honored for work with brain synapses

Pietro De Camilli, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, was named the recipient of the Sir Bernard Katz Award by the Exocytosis and Endocytosis subgroup of the Biophysical Society Feb. 25 at its 56th annual meeting.

The award, named in honor of one of the founding fathers of biophysics and neuroscience, Bernard Katz, is awarded annually for excellence in exocytosis and endocytosis research. It is given to the researcher who has made the most significant contribution to the field.

De Camilli, a native of Italy, first joined the Yale faculty as a postdoctoral fellow in 1978. Today, he works with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an investigator, and directs the Yale program in Cellular Neuroscience, Neurodegeneration and Repair.  His laboratory focuses on complex biology of synaptic vesicles, packets of information that form within the cell, pass through the membranes of brain cells and deliver neurotransmitters into the junction between neurons. His work has broad implications for not only general neuroscientific research, but also for understanding the pathogenetic mechanisms of human diseases.

Among other honors, De Camilli has been elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.