Brenda Milner wins Pearl Meister Greengard PrizeThursday, November 10th, 2011
The Pearl Meister Greengard Prize was presented yesterday to McGill’s famed Brenda Milner. (You can watch Fox News’ coverage of the event here.) Milner is a great McGillian (literally) and neuropsychologist with the Montreal Neurological Institute (The Neuro) where she has worked since her days as a grad student in 1950. If that seems like awhile, keep in mind that Brenda is 93–and still leading a busy research lab.
Milner is arguably best known for her thirty-year work with a patient known as “HM” that led to numerous findings about memory that have helped the world better understand how the brain works. She is credited by some as creating a whole new field of study by bringing together neurology and psychology.
The prize was founded by Nobel laureate Paul Greengard and his wife Ursula von Rydingsvard, in the name of Greengard’s mother, who died in childbirth. Greengard believes his mom, like most women of her generation, was limited by her gender, so he honours her memory by highlighting the accomplishments of the world’s great female scientists.
Brenda Milner is the first Canadian to win the award (and its $100,000 honorarium) since its inception in 2004. She was presented the prize by Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and head of UN Women, at Rockefeller University in New York City.