Erin Schuman elected Foreign Member of the Royal Society

May 16, 2024

The Royal Society has elected Erin Schuman, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, as a Foreign Member. Founded in 1660, the United Kingdom’s national academy of science is a venerable institution dedicated to the highest standards of scientific excellence. The Society's decision to bestow this honor on Erin Schuman recognizes her extraordinary contributions to neuroscience and cell biology. The induction ceremony is scheduled for July 2024.

Over 90 exceptional researchers from across the world have this year been elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences. Recognised for their invaluable contributions to science, the elected Fellows and Foreign Members are leaders in their fields.

As Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “I am pleased to welcome such an outstanding group into the Fellowship of the Royal Society. This new cohort have already made significant contributions to our understanding of the world around us and continue to push the boundaries of possibility in academic research and industry. From visualising the sharp rise in global temperatures since the industrial revolution to leading the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, their diverse range of expertise is furthering human understanding and helping to address some of our greatest challenges. It is an honor to have them join the Fellowship.”

About the newly elected Foreign Member

Erin Schuman's pioneering work has revealed the intricate mechanisms that govern how brain synapses are supplied with proteins and the molecular building blocks for memory formation . Her research focuses on deciphering how neurons communicate and adapt in response to stimuli, shedding light on fundamental processes underlying learning and memory. Her innovative approaches have provided key insights into the dynamic interplay between RNA regulation, protein synthesis, and synaptic function, advancing our understanding of how brain synapses work.  

Erin Schuman studied psychology at the University of Southern California and neuroscience at Princeton University, where she received her Ph.D. in 1990. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University, Schuman joined Caltech as an assistant professor in 1993, and was promoted to full professor in 2004. In 1997, she became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. Since 2009, she has been Director of the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Brain Prize (shared with C. Holt and M. Greenberg), the Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award (shared with C. Holt), the EMBO-FEBS Women in Science Award, the FENS-Kavli-ALBA Diversity Prize, and the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine.

About the Royal Society

The Royal Society is the world's oldest national scientific institution, dedicated to promoting excellence in science and using scientific advances for the benefit of society. With approximately 1,700 Fellows and Foreign Members, including Nobel Laureates, the Society operates on the basis of peer-reviewed excellence and elects distinguished scientists and technologists to life membership.

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