Nobel prize-winning Litvak and American neurologist Paul Greengard passed away April 13. Although he was born in New York City, he was descended from Jews from Virbalis, Lithuania. He won the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine in 2000. He was born December 11, 1925 and died at the age of 93.
His mother died in child-birth and his father Benjamin remarried an Episcopalian. While studying at MIT Paul helped develop warning systems for attacks by Japanese kamikaze pilots. After World War II he attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he was graduated in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics. He decided to forgo graduate school in physics because post-war physics research was predominantly about nuclear weapons, and became interested in biophysics. Greengard began work on the molecular and cellular function of neurons. In 1953 he received his PhD and began postdoctoral work at the University of London, Cambridge University and the University of Amsterdam. In 2000 Greengard, Arvid Carlsson and Eric Kandel were awarded the Nobel prize for physiology and medicine for their discoveries made in chemical and electric signal transduction in the nervous system. Paul Greengard used his Nobel Prize honorarium to help fund the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize, an award for women scientists named after his mother and established in 2004 to shine a spotlight on exceptional women in science. He is survived by two sons. Our deepest condolences to his family, friends and many colleagues.