Rocky Hill, CT — Professor Pasko Rakic, Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Neuroscience and Professor of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the Connecticut Medal of Science for his contributions as a transformative neuroscientist credited with establishing fundamental molecular and cellular mechanisms for the development of the cerebral cortex, the most complex structure in the universe. He will accept the award at the 44th Annual Meeting & Dinner of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering on May 28, 2019, at the Red Lion Hotel – Cromwell.
Professor Rakic’s discoveries have profound implications for neuropsychiatric disorders, the most disabling medical
conditions worldwide. The processes of neuronal production, migration and synaptic connections in the developing
brain that he identified have been implicated in developmental disorders of childhood-onset, such as autism, intellectual
disability, among many others. His observations also have informed the understanding of psychiatric and neurologic
disorders of adulthood including schizophrenia, dementia, and epilepsy. His pioneering work has set the stage for
treatments that hope to target disturbances in brain development and that might have a transformative impact on the
lives of patients, families, and society. Thus, his discoveries have enormous implications for public health.
“Connecticut is home to some of the nation’s leading scientists who are pushing the envelope and making revolutionary
discoveries that are having a global impact,” Governor Ned Lamont said. “The scientific community here in Connecticut
reflects our legacy of innovation. In this case, Professor Rakic’s work is having a life-altering impact on people whose
health may be at-risk. On behalf of the entire state, I want to congratulate Professor Rakic on receiving Connecticut’s
highest honor for scientific achievement.”Professor Rakic earned an M.D and PhD from the Belgrade University. He was one of the founding recipients of the Kavli Prize, considered to be the most prominent neuroscience prize in the world. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and, American Academy of Science, National Acadamy of Medicine and of numerous foreign academies, including Norway, Spain and Royal Academy (UK).
The Connecticut Medal of Science is the state’s highest honor for scientific achievement in fields crucial to Connecticut’s
economic competitiveness and social well-being. Modeled after the National Medal of Science, this award is bestowed by
the State of Connecticut, with the assistance of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering, in alternate years
with the Connecticut Medal of Technology.