Salk’s Gage gains more honors


Salk Institute professor Fred “Rusty” Gage, Ph.D. recently was recognized with a trio of honors on two continents: Spain’s Cátedra Santiago Grisolía Award 2011, an honorary doctorate in medicine from Lund University in Sweden and appointment as president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR).

Gage, a professor in the Salk Institute Laboratory of Genetics and holder of the Vi and John Adler Chair for Research on Age-Related Neurodegenerative Diseases, has played a significant role in advancing knowledge of neurobiology. Through a groundbreaking experiment in 1998, Gage’s lab showed that, contrary to decades of common wisdom, human brains grow new neurons throughout life, a discovery that forced scientists to rethink some of their most basic ideas about how the brain works. He and his team also showed that physical exercise can enhance the growth of new nerve cells in the brain, a process called neurogenesis.