The Gruber Foundation proudly presents the 2017 Neuroscience Prize to Joshua Sanes for his pioneering and inspiring work on synapse formation.
Josh Sanes has used both the neuromuscular junction and more recently the retina to provide fundamental insights into the mechanisms and molecules that drive synapse formation. In now classic experiments, he showed that regenerating muscle fibers can recognize molecules in the extracellular matrix to form synapses at pre-existing sites, even when the muscle is gone. In the retina, his studies have identified the synaptic organization of circuits that form the basis for visual processing.
Sanes’s elegant approaches and results have led to seminal and highly influential new ideas about synapse formation and the specificity of connections.