1988: Baylor

Professor Denis Baylor
Neurology & Neurobiology Departments
Stanford University, Stanford

November 8, 1988

Stanford University Researcher Wins 1988 Golden Brain Award

Dr. Denis Baylor of Stanford University School of Medicine has been chosen to receive the 1988 Golden Brain Award from the Minerva Foundation.

Baylor, a professor of neurobiology, is being honored for his research explaining the molecular process that enables people to see.

Specifically, he has isolated how individual cells in the retina of the eye convert light into electrochemical signals that the brain uses to create visual images.

Baylor is the fourth recipient of the award, given annually to honor extraordinary research on vision and the brain. The award "recognizes deserving scientists doing basic research of the caliber that will be the basis for future Nobel prizes," said Elwin Marg, vice president and executive officer of the Berkeley-based foundation.

While Baylor is focusing on learning how vision works, he explained, his findings may someday lead to an understanding of retinitis pigmentosa, a degeneration of the retina that often leads to blindness. As many as 100,000 people in the United States are afflicted with the disease.

Baylor has been a member of Stanford's faculty since 1974. He received the Paul Kayser International Award of Merit in Retina Research at the International Congress of Eye Research in September. Other honors include the Sinsheimer Foundation Award for Medical Research, the Mathilde Solowey Award in the Neurosciences, the Rank Prize in Optoelectronics, and the Proctor Medal from the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Baylor graduated Cum Laude from Yale Medical School in 1965, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship there in 1968. He held positions with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, the United States Public Health Service, and the faculty at University of Colorado Medical School prior to joining Stanford.

Past recipients of the Golden Brain Award are Semir Zeki, professor of neurobiology at University College London; Gian Franco Poggio, professor of neurobiology at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; David Sparks, professor of neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

1988: Professor Denis Baylor