Kaushik Basu

Prof. Mriganka Sur

Newton Professor of Neuroscience, Director, Simons Center for the Social Brain, Investigator, Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Prof. Mriganka Sur is a pioneer in studying the organization, plasticity and dynamics of the brain’s cerebral cortex using experimental and theoretical approaches. He discovered fundamental principles by which networks of the cerebral cortex are wired during development and change dynamically during learning. His laboratory identified gene networks underlying cortical plasticity, and invented high resolution imaging methods for studying cells, synapses and circuits of the intact brain. His group demonstrated novel mechanisms underlying disorders of brain development, and proposed innovative strategies for treating them.

Prof. Sur received a B. Tech. from IIT-Kanpur, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, Nashville. He was head of the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences for 15 years. The McGovern Institute for Brain Research, the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, and the Simons Center for the Social Brain were founded under his leadership.

Sur has trained over 80 doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, and received awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring. At MIT, he received the Hans-Lukas Teuber Scholar Award in the Brain Sciences (1997), the Sherman Fairchild Chair (1998), and the Newton Chair (2008). He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award of IIT- Kanpur (2002), and was named among the top 50 alumni of IIT-Kanpur (2010). He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society (UK), the US National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Academy of Sciences, and the Indian National Science Academy.