Walle Nauta

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Walle J. H. Nauta (June 8, 1916 – March 24, 1994) was a leading neuroanatomist, and one of the founders of the field of neuroscience.[1] Nauta was born in 1916 in Medan, Dutch East Indies. He was an Institute Professor at MIT.

Walle J. H. Nauta was born in Dutch Indonesia.

He invented the Nauta Silver Impregnation Method stain, used for tracing degenerating nerve fibers.

He attended the University of Leiden from 1934 to 1941, and received an MD degree in 1942 and a PhD in anatomy and neurophysiology in 1945 from the University of Utrecht

He and his wife gave a home to Jews fleeing the German Nazis.

He taught at the University of Utrecht (1941–1946), the University of Leiden (1946–47), the University of Zurich (1947–1951), the University of Maryland School of Medicine (1955–1964), and at MIT (1964–1986), where he was named Institute Professor in 1973. He was a neurophysiologist in the Division of Neuropsychiatry at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (1951–1964) and a neuroanatomist at McLean Hospital (1975).

Nauta is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers for professional journals and books.

In 1983 he was awarded the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience. In 1994 Nauta was awarded the NAS Award in the Neurosciences from the National Academy of Sciences.[2] He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Society for Neuroscience, which he served as president, the American Association of Anatomists and the American Neurological Association. He died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1994.


  1. ^ "Walle J. H. Nauta Is Dead at 77 - Helped to Establish Neuroscience". The New York Times. March 27, 1994. Retrieved January 4, 2017.
  2. ^ "NAS Award in the Neurosciences". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 21 April 2012.

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