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Eric R. Kandel

Eric R. KandelAKA Eric Richard Kandel

Born: 7-Nov-1929
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Signal transduction in the nervous system

Eric R. Kandel spent his childhood in Vienna, where he saw the violence wrought by Austria's pro-Nazi laws and the viciousness of Kristallnacht. His family narrowly escaped the country with nothing but their lives, only days before World War II began. Resettling in America, Kandel attended a public school in Brooklyn, later studied psychiatry, neurology, and biochemistry, and spent most of his career at Columbia University. In his most famous research, using sea slugs and mice, he showed the crucial role of synapses in memory and learning.

His wife, Denise Kandel, is a professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University and chief of substance abuse epidemiology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She answered the phone when the Nobel Institute called at 5:00 one autumn morning in 2000, and said she was able to understand only her husband's name and the word "Stockholm". He shared that year's Nobel Prize in Medicine with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard, who conducted related research in their own laboratories. Kandel is also a co-founder of Memory Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company which researches diseases of the central nervous system.

Father: Herman Kandel (toy shop owner, b. 1898, d. 1976)
Mother: Charlotte Zimels Kandel (b. 1897, m. 1923, d. 1991)
Brother: Lewis Kandel (New York Health Dept official, b. 1924, d. 1979 kidney cancer)
Girlfriend: Anna Kris (college sweetheart, dated 1953-55)
Wife: Denise Bystryn Kandel (psychiatrist, m. 1956)
Son: Paul Kandel (investment fund manager, b. 1961)
Daughter: Minouche Kandel (attorney, b. 1965)

    High School: Erasmus Hall High School, Brooklyn, NY (1948)
    University: Harvard University (1952)
    Medical School: MD, New York University (1956)
    Scholar: Neurophysiology, National Institutes of Health (1957-60)
    Scholar: Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (1960-64)
    Scholar: Cellular Physiology, Marey Institute of Paris (1962-63)
    Scholar: Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School (1963-65)
    Teacher: Physiology and Psychiatry, New York University (1965-74)
    Teacher: Neurobiology, Columbia University (1974-83)
    Professor: Physiology and Psychiatry, Columbia University (1983-)
    Professor: Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University (1992-)

    Dickson Prize 1982
    Lasker Award 1983 (with V.B. Mountcastle)
    National Medal of Science 1988
    Wolf Prize in Medicine 1999
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 2000 (with Arvid Carlsson and Paul Greengard)
    Naturalized US Citizen
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Philosophical Society
    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator (1984-)
    National Academy of Sciences
    Austrian Ancestry
    Jewish Ancestry
    Polish Ancestry
    Ukrainian Ancestry

Author of books:
Cellular Basis of Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Neurobiology (1976)
Behavioral Biology of Aplysia: A Contribution to the Comparative Study of Opisthobranch Molluscs (1979)
Molecular Neurobiology in Neurology and Psychiatry (1987)
Memory: From Mind to Molecules (1999, with Larry R. Squire)
Principles of neural science (2000, with James H. Schwartz and Thomas M. Jessell)
In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind (2006)

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