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Paul G. Allen receives Krieg Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions in neuroscience

Cajal Club recognizes remarkable success of Allen Institute for Brain Science's efforts to transform how neuroscience data are archived & shared with the scientific community

October 28, 2010 | Download PDF

Allen Institute for Brain Science ( founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen has been awarded the W. J. S. Krieg Lifetime Achievement Award by the Cajal Club ( at the Club's annual Symposium, "The Human Brain: Genes, Development & Connections in the 21st Century," held in Seattle on Oct. 26 and 27, 2010.

Leaders of the Cajal Club cited Allen's far-sightedness in founding and underwriting the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Seattle-based nonprofit medical research organization and leading provider of online public resources for neuroscience, which could not have been otherwise achieved through the customary avenues of scientific endeavor.

"The Cajal Club is pleased to honor Mr. Allen with the rare W. J. S. Krieg Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors in the field of brain science," said Cajal Club President, Gordon Shepherd, MD, DPhil, professor at Yale University School of Medicine. "The remarkable success of the Allen Brain Atlas resources and other Allen Institute activities has revolutionized the way in which neuroscience data is archived and made available to the scientific community."

The Allen Institute for Brain Science was launched by Allen in 2003, and the Institute's inaugural project, the groundbreaking Allen Mouse Brain Atlas, a Web-based, 3-D map of gene expression in the brain detailing approximately 20,000 genes at the cellular level, was completed in 2006.

Since that time, the Allen Institute has expanded the Allen Brain Atlas family of public resources to include additional atlases of the mouse spinal cord, developing mouse brain and human brain, providing neuroscientists with exquisitely detailed, 3-D anatomical maps showing precisely which genes are active where in the nervous system. Each month, these resources are accessed by approximately 20,000 users worldwide.

The Cajal Club, named in honor of the founder of modern neuroscience, regularly awards prizes to scientists in recognition of their research accomplishments. On special occasions, it also makes awards in recognition of those who have exhibited leadership in either promoting the field of neuroscience or in supporting initiatives that have advanced neuroscience technology or led to sea changes in the manner in which the science is conducted.

"Mr. Allen's dedication and commitment to the field of neuroscience has greatly benefited scientists worldwide—and his contributions have significantly furthered our understanding of the brain and how it functions," continued Dr. Shepherd.

Allen joins an illustrious group of recipients of the prestigious Krieg Lifetime Achievement Award. Past recipients include Nobel Laureate Rita Levi-Montalcini; neuroscientist Ricardo Miledi, recipient of the prestigious UK Royal Medal and Spain's highest honor for sciences, the Principe de Asturias Prize; and King Don Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Founded in 1947, the Cajal Club is the oldest neuroscience professional society. The founding members were notable neuroanatomists of their day, and the society has now grown to over 500 members across the world. Throughout its existence it has sought not only to promote the cause of neuroanatomy and related fields, but also to recognize important contributions made by individuals to these fields.