Richard L. Huganir, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins
since 1988 and an international authority on the way
molecular signals in neurons are created in the brain to
bring about human learning and the construction of
memories, has been named director of the
Snyder Department of Neuroscience at the School of
He becomes the second chair in the 25-year history of
the department, succeeding the founding director for whom
it is now named.
A member of the National Academy of Sciences,
professor of neuroscience since 1993 and a Howard Hughes
Medical Institute investigator at the school, Huganir is
widely acclaimed for his novel experiments shedding light
on the makeup and activity of proteins and other brain
chemicals at work when nerve cells in the brain
Because his work is focused on the fundamental issues
surrounding synaptic plasticity, it has profound
implications for treatment of an array of neurological
diseases and movement disorders, including Lou Gehrig's
disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), stroke and
"It is always a special pleasure to recognize that one
of our own faculty is the very best candidate we could hope
to have," said Edward D. Miller, dean of the faculty and
CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine in announcing Huganir's
appointment. "His scientific credentials are sterling, but
in addition, he has been an effective leader in the
department, active in many roles in the school and
nationally. And most important, he has the vision to take
the department into what is quickly becoming a new Golden
Age of neuroscience."
Huganir graduated with a degree in biochemistry from
Vassar College and earned a doctorate in biochemistry, and
molecular and cell biology from Cornell University.
Following postdoctoral work at Yale and Rockefeller
universities, he came to Johns Hopkins as an assistant
professor in 1988.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, has authored or co-authored more than 180
scientific articles and reviews and is well-known at
Hopkins as a consummate mentor of young investigators.