Solomon H. Snyder, M.D., Vice Chairman for Science
Born in Washington, D.C., Dr. Snyder received his undergraduate and medical training at Georgetown University and his psychiatric training at The Johns Hopkins University. In 1966 he joined the staff of the Department of Pharmacology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Presently he is Director of the Department of Neuroscience and Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Snyder is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Biomedical Research (1978), Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Northwestern University (1981), Georgetown University (1986), Ben Gurion University (1990), Albany Medical College (1998), Technion University of Israel (2002), the Wolf Foundation Prize in Medicine (1983), the Dickson Prize of the University of Pittsburgh (1983), the Bower Award from the Franklin Institute (1991), the Bristol-Myers-Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research (1996) and the Gerard Prize of the Society for Neuroscience (2000). He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is the author of more than 1000 journal articles and several books including Uses of Marijuana (1971), Madness and the Brain (1974), The Troubled Mind (1976), Biological Aspects of Abnormal Behavior (1980), Drugs and the Brain (1986), and Brainstorming (1989).
Many advances in molecular neuroscience have stemmed from Dr. Snyder's identification of receptors for neurotransmitters and drugs and elucidation of the actions of psychotropic agents. He pioneered the labeling of receptors by reversible ligand binding in the identification of opiate receptors and extended this technique to all the major neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. In characterizing each new group of receptors, he also elucidated actions of major neuroactive drugs. The isolation and subsequent cloning of receptor proteins stems from the ability to label, and thus monitor, receptors by these ligand binding techniques.
The application of Dr. Snyder's techniques has enhanced the development of new agents in the pharmaceutical industry by enabling rapid screening of large numbers of candidate drugs. Dr. Snyder applied receptor techniques to elucidate intracellular messenger systems including isolation of inositol 1,4,5,-trisphosphate receptors and establishing neurotrophic and neuroprotective roles for immunophilins. He has made contributions to the molecular basis of olfaction including identification, isolation and cloning of the odorant binding protein and delineation of odorant regulation of second messengers. He has established gases as a new class of neurotransmitters, beginning with his demonstrating the role of nitric oxide in mediating glutamate synaptic transmission and neurotoxicity. His isolation and molecular cloning of nitric oxide synthase led to major insights into the neurotransmitter functions of nitric oxide throughout the body. Subsequently, he established carbon monoxide as another gaseous transmitter and D-serine as a glial derived endogenous ligand of glutamate-NMDA receptors.
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