Biomedical Sciences

Neuroscientist awarded prestigious RSE medal

Congratulations to Professor Richard Morris, Director of CCNS, who has received the most prestigious award from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The award honours his outstanding contribution to the field of neuroscience through his pioneering work on the identification of the synaptic basis of learning and memory in the mammalian brain, which has raised the possibility of treatments to stem the global epidemic of dementia and cognitive decline.

Professor Richard Morris is an internationally recognized neuroscientist who has made several highly original contributions to the study of neurobiology of memory. He has developed areas of research that raise the possibility of developing treatments to stem the global epidemic of dementia and cognitive decline.

Richard Morris pioneered the development of spatial memory tests and his “watermaze” paradigm, or “Morris Maze”, for studying spatial learning is now globally used as the test of choice for the assessment of mammalian memory.

His discovery of the requirement for N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor involvement in the development of spatial learning was fundamental to the field and led to the development of the “Synaptic Plasticity and Memory” hypothesis, which is now recognized as the best account of how memories are initiated.

His work has laid the foundations for the global effort into elucidating the mechanisms of memory processing and subsequent development of treatments for memory loss in dementia.

Professor Morris has worked tirelessly as an ambassador for Scottish and British neuroscience contributing to numerous advisory and strategy groups both nationally and internationally. He is also passionate about the public understanding of science and has supported the work of the education system to encourage and inspire young people to take an interest, and pursue careers, in science.