Bioengineer Maurice Smith named 2007 McKnight Scholar

$225,000 award will support research on motor learning

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - May 15, 2007 - The Board of Directors of the McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience has named Maurice Smith, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an affiliate of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard, as a 2007 McKnight Scholar Award recipient.

He will receive $225,000 ($75,000 per year for three years) in support of his research on developing a computational model of interacting adaptive processes to explain properties of short- and long-term motor learning.

Smith earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and his B.E. (Triple Major: Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematics) from Vanderbilt University.

His research team is broadly interested in how the human brain controls movement, in particular how the brain learns and perfects new motor skills. Their work focuses on understanding both how this process works in healthy individuals and how it goes awry in neurologic disease. Smith combines approaches from robotics, computational modeling, functional brain imaging, and behavioral neuroscience.

The McKnight Scholar Awards, up to seven are awarded per year, are granted to young scientists who are in the early stages of establishing their own independent laboratories and research careers and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience.

The Endowment Fund seeks to support innovative research designed to bring science closer to the day when diseases of the brain and behavior can be accurately diagnosed, prevented, and treated.

Topics: Bioengineering, Awards

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