The 2024 Peter Seeburg Integrative Neuroscience Prize Awarded to Yang Dan

11 June 2024


SfN member Yang Dan, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and professor of Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded the 2024 Peter Seeburg Integrative Neuroscience Prize for her ground-breaking research on elucidating the brain circuits that control behavior with a special emphasis on those neuronal networks that control sleep. Her seminal work has led her to propose a Motor Theory of Sleep Control that has provided a powerful new conceptual framework for understanding sleep-wake brain state regulation. The Prize, permanently endowed by the Schaller-Nikolich Foundation, will be presented to Dan at the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum 2024 on Wednesday, June 26 in Vienna, Austria. 

Dan has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Beckman Young Investigator Award (1998), a SfN Research Award for Innovation in Neuroscience (2009), and the Edward M. Scolnick Prize in Neuroscience (2023). In 2018, she was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Across the span of her career, Dan’s research has critically informed the field’s understanding of complex brain function at levels of analysis ranging from molecules and network interactions, to elucidating the neuronal circuitry underlying complex cognitive processes. 

The Prize, named after the German neuroscientist Peter H. Seeburg, a pioneer in molecular neurobiology, was founded to recognize outstanding advances in the understanding of executive brain functions and cognitive processes. While the ultimate goal is to understand how the brain works as a whole, Seeburg appreciated that complex questions often must be broken down in order to become accessible to experimental scrutiny. The Prize recognizes those who continue his legacy by successfully embedding molecular and cellular events in a circuit and systems context to make significant advances in explaining cognitive and behavioral processes such as emotion, learning, memory, attention, and decision-making. 

In even years, the Prize is presented at the FENS Forum and in odd years, the Prize is presented at the SfN annual meeting. The recipient receives a $100,000 prize. Nominations for next year’s Prize open in early spring.