Five Princeton professors among inaugural HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars

Five Princeton University faculty members have been selected as inaugural faculty scholars by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Simons Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Selected as HHMI-Simons Faculty Scholars were Clifford Brangwynne, an assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering; Martin Jonikas, an assistant professor of molecular biology; and Coleen Murphy, professor of molecular biology and the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. 

PNI Postdoc Ahmed El Hady's "NeuroBridges" program brings Arab and Israeli neuroscientists together

NeuroBridges is a series of meetings that brings together brain scientists from Israel and the Arab world in hopes of fostering relationships across the political and religious fault lines that divide the Middle East. It grew from the friendship between Ahmed El Hady, an Egyptian neuroscientist at Princeton University, and his Israeli colleague Yonatan Loewenstein of the Edmond & Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dean for Research Innovation Funds enable bold and creative new projects

A novel intervention to control mosquito-borne diseases: Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology Mala Murthy and Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Carolyn McBride, both of the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, will explore ways to interfere with mosquito courtship and mating to reduce mosquito populations.


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Social interactions and the brain

Neuroscientist Mala Murthy and a multidisciplinary team at Princeton University want to understand what happens in the brain when animals process information, communicate and socialize.

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Fly brains reveal the neural pathway by which outside stimuli become behavior

Every day, people act in response to countless external stimuli, activities in the outside world that result in a specific behavior. An oncoming car causes a pedestrian in a bustling city to jump back to the curb. Someone tells a joke that makes you laugh. You call someone's name causing that person to stop and turn around.


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Princeton University BRAIN Initiative Research highlighted by the National Science Foundation

Lords of the fruit flies: What goes into fruit fly courtship? It might seem like an odd question, but understanding its neural underpinnings--and studying the male-female interactions at the milliscale level--could help us better understand the complexities of social behavior. A Princeton University team--neuroscientist Mala Murthy and physicists William Bialek and Joshua Shaevitz--will stimulate recordings from individual neurons as the fruit flies (Drosophila) conduct complex courtship behaviors.

Pip Coen wins 2015 Elkins Award

Pip Coen, who received his Ph.D. from the PNI Neuroscience program in February with advisor Mala Murthy, has received the 2015 Elkins Award. This award is given every two years to the graduate student with the best Ph.D. thesis in the field of Drosophila Neurobiology. Pip will deliver the Elkins Memorial Lecture at the Neurobiology of Drosophila Conference at Cold Spring Harbor, NY on September 30th (

Mysteries of the Brain: Perceiving Brain with Professor Sabine Kastner

The human brain is perhaps the greatest remaining mystery in the biological sciences, and despite decades (centuries, even) of research, we are only scratching the surface. But new high-tech tools and a healthy dose of funding via the Obama administration's BRAIN initiative mean neuroscience and a hundred related fields will be getting the attention they deserve. NBC Learn, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation, has documented this big push in its new series, "Mysteries of the Brain."

Pew Names Professor Lindy McBride as a Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

The Pew Charitable Trusts today named 22 promising early-career researchers as Pew scholars in the biomedical sciences. The recipients join the ranks of more than 600 outstanding scientists who have been selected as Pew scholars in the 30 years since the program’s inception and whose careers have been dedicated to bold scientific discoveries. Many Pew scholars have also been recognized with prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, the Shaw Prize, and the Lasker Award.

PNI Co-Director David W. Tank wins The Karl Spencer Lashley Award

The Karl Spencer Lashley Award was established in 1957 by a gift from Dr. Lashley, a member of the Society and a distinguished neuroscientist and neuropsychologist. The award is to be made in recognition of work on the integrative neuroscience of behavior. At the time of his death, he was Emeritus Research Professor of Neuropsychology at Harvard University and Emeritus Director of the Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology in Florida. Lashley's contemporaries considered his experimental work as daring and original.

Advancing neuroscience by listening to fruit flies.

Mala Murthy spends a good bit of her time studying fruit flies—specifically, the songs male fruit flies create during courtship, when they stand near a female and vibrate an extended wing.

“The fly is doing something really complicated,” explains Murthy, an assistant professor of neuroscience and molecular biology at Princeton University. “He’s measuring how fast his partner is moving, how far away she is, and constantly modulating what he sings to best match her movement.”


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