Irvine, Calif., Nov. 15, 2022 — The University of California, Irvine today announced that Oswald Steward, director of the campus’s Reeve-Irvine Research Center, will assume the role of president of the Society for Neuroscience, the world’s largest organization for the study of the brain and nervous system, with more than 36,000 members in 95 countries. He is the fourth UCI faculty member to hold the prestigious post since the society’s founding in 1969. Steward was elected in 2020 and served as president-elect for two years; he’ll be president for one year – beginning this month at the close of the annual meeting in San Diego – and then past president for an additional year.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as president and help achieve the organization’s goals of advancing scientific exchange, advocating for the field, and communicating the value and importance of neuroscience,” Steward said. “These efforts are vital to continued learning and professional development, strengthening our public policy engagement and extending our community outreach.”
UCI Distinguished Professor of anatomy and neurobiology and Reeve-Irvine Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, Steward is well known for his research on how nerve cells create and maintain their connections with each other and how these synapses are modified after injury. He also studies how genes influence nerve cell regeneration, growth and function and how physiological activity affects nerve cell connections.
Steward earned a Ph.D. in psychobiology at UCI in 1974. After his tenure as professor of neurosurgery and physiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, he returned to UCI in 1999 as founding director of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center. Steward is a recipient of the National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award, the Jacob Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the Distinguished Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression.
The Society for Neuroscience was started by Ralph W. Gerard, who was its first honorary president. A founding faculty member in UCI’s Department of Psychobiology (now Department of Neurobiology and Behavior) in 1964, Gerard became the first dean of UCI’s Graduate Division, a position he held until his retirement in 1970. Other UCI faculty members who served as president of the organization are Edward “Ted” Jones (1998-1999) former chair of the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Tom Carew (2008-2009), former chair of Neurobiology and Behavior.
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