Rachel Wilson (neurobiologist)

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Rachel I. Wilson
Born Kansas City, Missouri
Residence Boston, Massachusetts
Nationality American
Fields Neurobiology
Institutions Harvard Medical School
Alma mater Harvard University;
University of California, San Francisco
Doctoral advisor Roger Nicoll
Notable awards MacArthur Fellow

Rachel Wilson is a professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.[1] Wilson's work integrates electrophysiology, neuropharmacology, molecular genetics, functional anatomy, and behavior to explore how neural circuits are organized to react and sense a complex environment.


Wilson was born in Kansas City, Missouri. She received an A.B. in chemistry from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, San Francisco, where she worked under Dr. Roger Nicoll. Wilson completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Caltech under Dr. Gilles Laurent. She started her own lab at Harvard in 2004.



In 2007 Wilson won Science and Eppendorf AG's Grand Prize in Neurobiology for her work on the olfactory function of fruit flies Drosophila melanogaster,[2] to understand how the brain recognizes odors from patterns of impulses from olfactory receptor neurons.[3]

In 2008 she won a MacArthur Fellowship.[4]

In 2014, she won the inaugural national Blavatnik National Award for Young Scientists, awarded by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences to "celebrate America’s most innovative and promising faculty-rank scientists and engineers.",[5][6]

In 2012 she was made a full professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Neurobiology; she currently holds the Joseph B. Martin Professorship in Basic Research.


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