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Kavalali receives Humboldt Research Award

Dec. 31, 2019, 10:03 AM


Ege Kavalali, PhD

Ege T. Kavalali, PhD, professor and acting chair of the Department of Pharmacology in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has been elected a recipient of a prestigious Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany.

Kavalali, also William Stokes Professor of Experimental Therapeutics at Vanderbilt, is being honored for his contributions to understanding the role of spontaneous neurotransmission in the brain and in brain disorders such as depression.

“I am extremely humbled and delighted by the recognition given to our work from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation,” said Kavalali, who joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2018. “This award provides the unique opportunity to expand the ties between Vanderbilt and leading research institutions across Germany.”

Named for the 19th century Prussian scientist and explorer, the Humboldt Award recognizes researchers “whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.”

Winners are invited to spend a period of up to one year collaborating on a long-term research project with colleagues at a research institution in Germany.

A native of Turkey, Kavalali studied Electrical Engineering at Bogazici University in Istanbul and received his PhD degree in Biomedical Engineering from Rutgers University in 1995.

After completing postdoctoral studies in Molecular and Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, he joined the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he chaired the Graduate Program in Neuroscience from 2008 to 2016.

A member of the Society for Neuroscience, Kavalali’s previous honors include a NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Award from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.

Previous recipients of the Humboldt Research Award from Vanderbilt include the late Ellen Fanning, PhD, Stevenson Professor of Biological Sciences and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor.

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