Times‘ series on UCI memory research wins national award

Last year, UC Irvine neurobiologist Gary Lynch (pictured) published a groundbreaking set of research studies showing how the brain forms memory. And beside him every step of the way was Los Angeles Times staff writer Terry McDermott, who chronicled the struggle and ultimate achievement of the Lynch research team. Last August, the Times published a lengthy four-part series on their effort, titled “Chasing Memory: One Man’s Epic Quest for Understanding,” for which McDermott recently received the 2008 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award. The judges praised him for bringing to light a scientific problem – how memory is stored – that has defied explanation for decades, and for capturing what it’s like to work in a research lab. McDermott’s reporting on Lynch will be expanded into a book, 101 Theory Drive: A Scientist’s Pursuit of the Memory Machine in the Brain, due next year.

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