6th annual Jay Pepose ’75 Award in Vision Sciences from Brandeis University Announced

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Stanford neuroscientist William T. Newsome, whose pioneering research has helped scientists better understand the connection between visual perception and visually guided behavior, will receive the sixth annual Jay Pepose ’75 Award in Vision Sciences from Brandeis University.

The Pepose Award is funded by a $1 million endowment established in 2009 through a gift from Brandeis alumni Jay Pepose ’75, MA’75, P’08, P’17, and Susan K. Feigenbaum ’74, P’08, P’17, his wife, through the Lifelong Vision Foundation. The endowment also supports graduate research fellowships in vision science.

Newsome will receive the award and deliver a public lecture, “A New Look at Gating: Selective Integration of Sensory Signals through Network Dynamics,” at 4 p.m. on March 18 in Gerstenzang 121. He will be introduced by John Lisman, the Zalman Abraham Kekst Chair in Neuroscience and professor of biology at Brandeis.

Newsome serves as the Harman Family Provostial Professor at the Stanford School of Medicine and is the Vincent V.C. Woo Director of the Stanford Neuroscience Institute.

“Dr. Newsome has made important contributions to our understanding of the neural processes that mediate visual perception and visually guided behavior,” Pepose said. “I am very pleased that he will be giving the upcoming lecture at Brandeis and look forward to attending.”

In conducting his research, Newsome utilizes innovative techniques, including the stimulation of brain areas with microelectrodes, to demonstrate cause and effect between brain activity and behavior. Other studies have merely shown a correlation. He has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception and simple forms of decision making.

Newsome’s administrative appointments include co-chairing the National Institutes of Health’s BRAIN Advisory Committee and serving on the Society for Neuroscience’s committee on committees. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, he received an honorary degree from the State University of New York’s School of Optometry in 2012 and won the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society in 2010.

Past winners of the Pepose Award include Richard Masland, Harvard University; Gordon Fain, University of California, Los Angeles; Michael Stryker, University of California, San Francisco; Peter Schiller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Jay and Maureen Neitz, University of Washington.

Dr. Pepose is the founder and medical director of the Pepose Vision Institute in St. Louis and a professor of clinical ophthalmology at Washington University. He founded and serves as board president of the Lifelong Vision Foundation, whose mission is to preserve lifelong vision for people in the St. Louis community, nationally and internationally through research, community programs and education programs. He was part of the inaugural class of fellows of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. While a student at Brandeis, he worked closely with Lisman.