The Academy Remembers President’s Council Member, Dr. Paul Greengard
Published April 16, 2019
The New York Academy of Sciences extends its sincerest condolences to the family of Dr. Paul Greengard, a Nobel Laureate and Member of our President’s Council since 2002.
Dr. Greengard was a distinguished researcher in the field of neuroscience. His insights into how brain cells communicate helped foster advances in the treatment of a wide range of neurological and psychiatric diseases. For this work, he received the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Drs. Arvid Carlsson and Eric Kandel for their independent discoveries.
A native New Yorker, Dr. Greengard attended public schools in Brooklyn and Queens, before spending three years in the Navy as an electronics technician during World War II. After the war he attended Hamilton College, majoring in mathematics and physics. While he was initially interested in theoretical physics, he decided not to follow this career path because the only funding for this field came from the Atomic Energy Commission and he was opposed to working on nuclear weapons. Ultimately, he entered the then developing field of biophysics.
After completing his PhD at Johns Hopkins University in 1953, Dr. Greengard moved to Europe for postdoctoral work at the University of London, Cambridge University and the University of Amsterdam, before returning to the United Kingdom and a laboratory at the National Institute for Medical Research. On returning to the United States, he briefly worked in the pharmaceutical industry, taught at Vanderbilt University, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, before heading to Yale University in 1968. He returned to New York City and joined The Rockefeller University in 1983.
Dr. Greengard donated a full share of his Nobel Prize honorarium to the founding of the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize in 2004. This award is given annually to women biologist scientists by The Rockefeller University. The award is named for Greengard’s mother, who died during childbirth.