Renowned neuroscientist Richard Huganir named Bloomberg Distinguished Professor

Dr. Richard Huganir, a Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience faculty member since 1988, is the latest researcher to join the ranks of the Bloomberg Distinguished Professors, a group of interdisciplinary scholars at Hopkins who are working to address major world problems and teach the next generation.

When Richard Huganir first came across a Scientific American study finding that protein synthesis is a critical process in memory formation, he was consumed by a single simple question: Why?

It was the early 1970s, and the discovery of psychiatric drugs in the years before had made the study of the brain more urgent and more lucrative than ever. The Scientific American study, conducted by biochemist Bernard Agranoff, tested the chemical properties of a protein synthesis inhibitor called puromycin. Agranoff used goldfish exposed to the chemical to determine how it affected learning and memory. After issuing a warning light, he would expose the fish to intermittent electric shocks. They could avoid the shocks by relocating to the other side of an underwater barrier.

Read the full story, courtesy of the Johns Hopkins @HubJHU, behind how genuine curiosity drove Dr. Huganir along a path of basic science research into becoming a renowned neuroscientist today.

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