Shaul Druckman Named 2021 McKnight Scholar

Shaul Druckman
Shaul Druckman

SHAUL DRUCKMANN, assistant professor of neurobiology and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, has received a 2021 McKnight Foundation Scholar Award for his research into how the brain computes using activity distributed across populations and brain areas.

Druckmann, a Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute member, is one of seven young neuroscientists in the 2021 class of McKnight Scholars, each of whom will receive $225,000 in unrestricted funds over three years to facilitate the development of their research programs.

“This year’s class of scholars showcases the diversity of young, brilliant, innovative neuroscientists from across the nation,” said Kelsey Martin, chair of the awards committee and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “Together, the McKnight Scholars are tackling some of the most exciting questions in neuroscience today.”

Druckmann is interested in leveraging neuroscientists’ growing ability to record from — and stimulate — large populations of neurons to build theoretical models of how neural circuits communicate dynamically to store and process information. His goal is to better understand how these activity patterns produce complex behaviors ranging from simple perceptual decisions in mice to the unique patterns of human language — a project in collaboration with the Stanford Neural Prosthetic Systems lab.

Since the McKnight Scholars award was introduced in 1977, it has funded more than 250 innovative investigators and spurred hundreds of important discoveries in neuroscience.

Read more on the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute website.