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September 1, 2004

Irwin B. Levitan, PhD, Elected Secretary of
the Society for Neuroscience

(Philadelphia, PA) –Irwin B. Levitan, PhD, has been elected Secretary of the Society for Neuroscience. Levitan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences. His two-year term will begin at the Society’s 2004 Annual Meeting in October.

“Dr. Levitan will be taking on many responsibilities as Secretary of the Society,” says Dr. Anne B. Young, current President of the Society and Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology, at Massachusetts General Hospital. “We look forward to his contributions.”

"I am honored by this recognition by my colleagues in the Society for Neuroscience,” says Levitan, “and am enthusiastic about playing a leadership role in the Society's important initiatives on behalf of neuroscience research and education."

Levitan came to Penn in the fall of 1999 from Brandeis University, where he had been founding Director of the Volen Center for Complex Systems. At Penn, he has built upon a wealth of programmatic and administrative experience in a highly interdisciplinary and interactive environment, and his own research on neuronal activity and neuronal ion channels is very highly regarded. A recipient of the McKnight Senior Investigator Award in 1997, the Ranwell Caputto Award in 2001, and the McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award in 2004, he also has the distinction of receiving the NIH Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award twice.

He has been senior editor for neuroscience for the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences and a reviewing editor for the Journal of Neuroscience. The author of many published papers, he is co-editor of Ion Channels and Receptors and Neuropharmacology: Potassium Channels. He is the author of Neuromodulation: The Biochemical Control of Neuronal Excitability and three editions of The Neuron: Cell & Molecular Biology (all written with L. K. Kaczmarek). He was named Director of the Mahoney Institute for Neurosciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2002.

The Society for Neuroscience was formed in 1970 and is a nonprofit membership organization of basic scientists and physicians who study the brain and nervous system. The Society has grown from 500 members to more than 35,000 and is the world's largest organization of scientists devoted to the study of the brain. The Society's primary goal is to promote the exchange of information among researchers through its Journal of Neuroscience and annual meeting, which is held each fall and attracts attendees from around the globe. The Society is also devoted to education about the latest advances in brain research and the need to make neuroscience research a funding priority.

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