Pfizer Neuroscience Chief Scientific Officer Earns Prestigious Thudichum Medal
Michael Ehlers, Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer's Neuroscience Research Unit, will be awarded the prestigious Thudichum Medal by the Biochemical Society, the U.K.'s largest discipline-based professional and academic society in the biosciences. The award is given to honor eminent scientists who have made outstanding contributions to neurochemistry and related subjects.
Ehlers has been recognized for research that has revealed fundamental biologic mechanisms related to brain plasticity, which has furthered the scientific understanding of disorders of memory and cognition. He was recruited to Pfizer from Duke University in 2010 to improve Worldwide Research and Development's ability to identify the best targets for Neuroscience drug development in areas including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, Huntington's disease and autism.
Pfizer's Neuroscience Research Unit is at the forefront of translating basic research discovery into the development of innovative medicines that improve the quality of lives for patients devastated by neurological, psychiatric and neurodevelopmental illness.
"Neuroscience is one of our key focus areas and so it is critical to both the future of Pfizer, and the millions of patients who suffer from these debilitating conditions," said Rod MacKenzie, Group Senior Vice President, Head of PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development. "The latter has never been more true as some of our competitors leave the field. It is fabulous to have one of our scientists recognized in this way by his peers."
One of Only 11 Recipients
Ehlers becomes one of 11 recipients of the Thudichum Medal, including two Nobel Prize winners, since its inception in 1974. The Thudichum Medal is named after Johann Ludwig Wilhelm Thudichum (1829 – 1901), who is famous for his discoveries regarding the chemical composition of the brain. He identified and characterized a number of compounds in the brain including sphingomyelin, cephalin, galactose, lactic acid and sphingosine.
Ehlers will be presented with the Medal at a Biochemical Society conference next year, where he will deliver a Medal Lecture that will also be published in Biochemical Society Transactions.
The Biochemical Society promotes the advancement of the molecular biosciences, representing the interests of all those working in the sector and is the largest discipline-based learned society in the biosciences with more than 5,500 members. The Society's award program recognizes scientists for the excellence of their work in a wide variety of fields of research and development and the profound implications their work has for the research community and society at large.