February 10, 2011

Casagrande’s contributions to anatomical science honored

Casagrande’s contributions to anatomical science honored

Vivien Casagrande, Ph.D., professor of Cell & Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University, has been named a fellow of the American Association of Anatomists.

Vivien Casagrande, Ph.D.

Vivien Casagrande, Ph.D.

The honor recognizes “excellence in science and in … overall contributions to the anatomical sciences.”

Casagrande, who also is a professor of Psychology and of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, is one of 11 fellows named by the association this year, and the first fellow from Vanderbilt University.

The 2011 fellows will be recognized during the association's annual awards banquet April 12 in Washington, D.C.

“Nobel laureate Francis Crick stressed the critical importance of neuroanatomical study to understanding how the brain works,” Casagrande said.

“I am truly honored to receive this award from the American Association of Anatomists, the most prestigious international society devoted to the study of anatomy.

“This society was the first scientific association to which I was nominated and became a member,” she said. “At the time I was thrilled to be accepted as a member and now I’m humbled to be included among its fellows.”

Casagrande has been a member of the Vanderbilt faculty since 1975, and is a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center investigator.

Her laboratory studies how visual information is processed by the brain, specifically within the visual cortex. She has mapped visual brain circuitry in a variety of primate species, and her studies have revealed clues to the evolution of the visual system.

The American Association of Anatomists previously honored Casagrande in 1981 with the Charles Judson Herrick Award for “meritorious contributions to comparative neurology.”

In 2006, she was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.