The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory  ::  MIT

Mark F. Bear, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

Dr. Mark Bear is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Picower Professor of Neuroscience in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Dr. Bear served as Director of The Picower Institute from 2007 to 2009.  Prior to moving to MIT in 2003, Dr. Bear was on the faculty of Brown University School of Medicine for 17 years.  After receiving his B.S. degree from Duke University, he earned his Ph.D. degree in neurobiology at Brown.  He took postdoctoral training from Wolf Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and from Leon Cooper at Brown.  His laboratory is interested in how the brain is modified by experience.  He uses a variety of methods (electrophysiological, biochemical, molecular, behavioral, and anatomical) to examine the synaptic modifications that form the neurobiological basis of learning and memory. His work is particularly focused on understanding developmental plasticity in the visual cortex, as well as other forms of experience-dependent synaptic modification in visual cortex and hippocampus.  In recent years Dr. Bear has described novel forms of procedural learning in the visual system, and investigated synaptic function in models of fragile X syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders.

See also:  Picower Institute Faculty Page  -  MIT BCS Faculty page

B.Sc. degree, Duke University, 1979
Ph.D. degree, Brown University, 1984

Professional Positions
Max-Planck Fellow with Wolf Singer, Frankfurt, 1984-1985
Research Assistant Professor, Brown Center for Neural Science, 1985-1986
Assistant Professor (tenure track), Brown University Medical School, 1986-1991
Associate Professor with tenure, Brown University Medical School, 1991-1995
Professor of Neuroscience, Brown University Medical School, 1995-2003
Sidney and Dorothy Doctors Fox Professor of Visual Neuroscience, Brown University Medical School, 1996-2003
Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003-present
Director, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT, 2007-2009
Associate Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1994-1999
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1999-present

Significant Memberships
Elected Fellow, The Neurosciences Institute, La Jolla, California, 1999
Elected Fellow, Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, 1999
Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003
Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2004
Elected Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2005
Member, Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, 2009-present
Member, Dana Alliance for Brain Research Executive Committee, 2010-present
Jury Member, Antonio Champalimaud Foundation Vision Award, 2007-present
Jury Member, Society for Neuroscience Julius Axelrod Prize, 2009-present
Scientific Advisory Board, Silvio Conte Center, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, 2004-2009
Scientific Advisory Board, Seaside Therapeutics, Inc, 2005-present
Scientific Advisory Board, The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute, MIT, 2007-present
Scientific Advisory Panel, Neuroscience Therapeutic Area, Pfizer, Inc, 2008-2010
Scientific Advisory Board, FRAXA Research Foundation, 2009-present
Scientific Advisory Committee, Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Johns Hopkins University, 2011-

Alfred P. Sloan Award, 1987
United States Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 1988
Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, 1993
Fogarty Senior International Fellowship, 1993
Brown University Class of 2000 Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Teaching Excellence
Brown University Elizabeth H. Leduc Award for Teaching Excellence, 2000
William and Enid Rosen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Understanding Fragile X Syndrome, National Fragile X Foundation, 2006
Pioneer Award, FRAXA Research Foundation, 2011
Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Study of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors, 7th International mGluR Meeting, Taormina, Italy, 2011