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Office of Neuroscience Research > Resources/Information for Neuroscience Investigators > The James L. O'Leary Prize for Excellence in Neuroscience Research

The James L. O'Leary Prize for Excellence in Neuroscience Research

2015 Competition

The 2015 O’Leary Prize Competition will be held on Tuesday, March 31.  The guest judge will be Jeffrey Neil (Harvard).

Congratulations to the 2014 O'Leary Prize Winners!

Josiah Gerdts, graduate student in the laboratory of Jeff Milbrandt (Department of Genetics)
"SARM1 function in axonal degeneration"

Michael Vasek, graduate student in the laboratory of Robyn Klein (Department of Medicine)
"I can’t find my keys cheese: Modeling spatial memory impairments after recovery from acute West Nile virus encephalitis"

Background

Dr. James L. O'Leary joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy at Washington University in 1928.  In 1948 he joined the faculty of the Department of Neurology, becoming Head of the Department in 1946, remaining until 1971.  For many years, neuroscience research at Washington University was conducted by Dr. O'Leary and his colleagues.  They developed an interdisciplinary and interactive approach to the study of the nervous system that continues today.  Dr. O'Leary's colleagues, admirers, and former students established a fund in 1975 to award a prize each year to a graduate student and/or postdoctoral fellow or resident for excellence in neuroscience research.

2014 Competition

The 2014 Competition is now closed. Stay tuned for instructions for the 2015 O'Leary Prize Competition.

Instructions to apply

Two prizes of $1000 each were awarded for the most original and important accomplishments in neuroscience research by a predoctoral or postdoctoral fellow.  Current Washington University predoctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and residents were invited to submit:

  • A summary of the research, including a title page indicating the applicant's name, preceptor, campus box, telephone number, email address and status (e.g. graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, resident).  The summary itself should begin with a 250 word abstract and be no longer than 5 double spaced pages, including figures but not references.  A separate listing of no more than 10 references is allowed. an application electronic file (as a pdf) to schlaggarb@neuro.wustl.edu
  • In addition, a letter from the applicant's preceptor attesting to the contents of the summary should accompany the submission.  A letter of recommendation is not needed; just attestation to the work.

The summary and letter of attestation should be submitted by e-mail to Brad Schlaggar at schlaggarb@neuro.wustl.edu

Presentations

Finalists presented their work at the 37th Annual O'Leary Prize competition on Monday, March 3.  Steve Mennerick, PhD (WUSTL Psychiatry) was the returning O'Leary judge.

The 8 finalists for the 2014 O’Leary Competition:

Sarah DeVos, laboratory of Tim Miller (Neurology)
Josiah Gerdts, laboratory of Jeff Milbrandt (Genetics)
Manu Goyal MD, laboratory of Marc Raichle (Radiology)
Deanna Greene PhD, laboratories of Kevin Black (Psychiatry) and Brad Schlaggar (Neurology)
Debajit Saha PhD, laboratory of Baranidharan Raman (Biomedical Engineering)
Michael Vasek, laboratory of Robyn Klein (Medicine)
Frans Vinberg PhD, laboratory of Vladimir Kefalov (Ophthalmology)
Pei Sabrina Xu, laboratory of Tim Holy (Anatomy &  Neurobiology)
 

O'Leary Prize Recipients
(G=Grad Student; P=Post Doc)

Year

Recipient

Lab preceptor/Department

2014

Josiah Gerdts (G)
Michael Vasek (G)

Jeff Milbrandt - Genetics
Robyn Klein - Internal Medicine
2013

Cindy Montana (G)
Jonathan Power (G)

Joseph Corbo - Pathology & Immunology
Steve Petersen - Neurology
2012

Travis Hage (G)

Steve Nelson (P)

Larry Salkoff - Anatomy & Neurobiology

Kathleen McDermott - Psychology

2011

Joseph Castellano (G)

Cong (Lucy) Li (G)

David Holtzman - Neurology

Naren Ramanan - Anatomy & Neurobiology

2010

Albert Misko (G)

Julian Meeks (P)

Robert Baloh - Neurology

Timothy Holy - Anatomy & Neurobiology

2009

Bradley Miller (G)

Jin-shan Wang (P)

Aaron DiAntonio - Developmental Biology

Vladimir Kevalov - Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences

2008

Rebecca Hendrickson (G)

YanGang Sun (P)

Timothy Holy - Anatomy & Neurobiology

Zhuo-Feng Chen - Anesthesiology

2007

Jacob Nadler (G)
Yong Gu (P)

Greg DeAngelis - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Greg DeAngelis/Dora Angelaki - Anatomy & Neurobiology

2006

Richard Daniels (G)
Catherine Collins (P)

Aaron DiAntonio - Molec. Biol. & Pharmacology
Aaron DiAntonio - Molec. Biol. & Pharmacology

2005

John Fryer (G)
Ethan Graf (G)
Botir Sagdullaev (P)

David Holtzman - Neurology
Ann Marie Craig - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Peter Lukasiewicz - Ophthalmology & Vis. Sci.

2004

Jerry Nguyenkim (S)
Eric Leuthardt (P)

Greg DeAngelis - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Dan Moran - Biomedical Engineering

2003

Terrance Kumer (G)
Belen Hurle (P)

Josh Sanes - Anatomy & Neurobiology
David Ornitz - Molec. Biol. & Pharmacology

2002

Kit Wong (G)
Mark Walsh (G)
Jin-Yuan Sun (P)

Yi Rao - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Jeff Lichtman - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Ling-Gang Wu - Anesthesiology

2001

Charles Harris (G)
Robert Burgess (P)

Eugene Johnson - Neurology
Josh Sanes - Anatomy & Neurobiology

2000

Jeff Mumm (G)
Malu Tansey (P)

Raphael Kopan - Molec. Biol. & Pharmacology
Eugene Johnson - Neurology

1999

William M. Kelley (G)
John Sun (P)

Steve Petersen - Neurology
Steve Highstein & Barbara Bohne - Otolaryngology

1998

Rachel Easton (G)
Roberta Chiesa (p)

Eugene Johnson - Neurology
David Harris - Cell Biology & Physiology

1997

Lisa Evans (G)
Bruce Patton (P)

Paul Bridgman - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Joshua Sanes -Anatomy & Neurobiology

1996

Paul Kotzbauer (G)
Janice Brunstrom (P)

Jeff Milbrandt - Pathology and Eugene Johnson - Neurology
Alan Pearlman - Neurology

1995

Randy Buckner (G)
Anatoli Lopatin (P)

Steve Petersen - Neurology
Colin Nichols - Cell Biology

1994

Steve Mennerick (G)
Inmaculada Silos-Santiago (P)

Charles Zorumski - Psychiatry
William Snider Neurology

1993

Thomas Carmichael (G)

Joel Price - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1992

Maria Donoghue (G)

John Merlie - Molec. Biol. & Pharmacology and Josh Sanes - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1991

John Butman (G)
Andrew Hershey (G)

Nobuo Suga - Biology
James Krause - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1990

David Martin (G)
Alison Strack (G)

Eugene Johnson - Neurology, Molec. Biol & Pharm
Arthur Loewy - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1989

Dale Hunter (G)

Anatomy & Neurobiology

1988

Mark Rich (G)
Stephen Senft (G)

Jeff Lichtman - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Tom Woolsey  - Neurosurgery

1987

Jonathan Mink (G)
Christine Wilcox (G)

Tom Thach - Anatomy & Neurobiology
Pharmacology

1986

Megumi Taniuchi (G)

Pharmacology

1985

John Olsen (G)
Ted Usden (G)

Nobuo Suga - Biology
Gerry Fischbach - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1984

Pamala Manning (G)
Jeffrey Neil (G)

Pharmacology
Arthur Loewy - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1983

Steven Massey (G)
Eric Rubin (G)

Ophthalmology
Dale Purves - Physiology & Biophyiscs

1982

James Schwob (G)

Joel Price - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1981

Winthrop Sullivan, III (G)

Nobuo Suga - Biology

1980

Michael Ariel (G)

Physiology & Biophysics

1979

Jonathan Siegel (G)
Brent Stanfield (G)

Charles Molnar - Physiology & Biophysics
W. Maxwell Cowan - Anatomy & Neurobiology

1978

Jeff Lichtman (G)

Dale Purves - Physiology & Biophysics