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Carla J. Shatz

Carla J.

Carla J. Shatz (Photo: Peter Bagde)

Carla Shatz is Professor of Neurobiology and of Biology at Stanford University, and Director of Bio-X.

Shatz grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut. She did her undergraduate degree at Radcliffe College, and studied with neurophysiologists Hubel and Wiesel at Harvard (who later won a Nobel Prize in 1981). After graduating in 1969, Shatz had a Marshall Scholarship to study physiology at University College London. She then became the first woman to gain a PhD from the Harvard Department of Neurobiology in 1976.

In 1978 Shatz joined the Stanford University School of Medicine, and moved to UC Berkeley in 1992. She left the west coast in 2000 to become the first woman to lead a basic science department at Harvard Medical School, the Department of Neurobiology. In 2007, Shatz returned to Stanford to head Bio-X.

Shatz is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the Royal Society, UK. Her awards include the Gill Prize in Neuroscience (2006), the Mika Salpeter Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), the Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience (2011), and the Gruber Prize in Neuroscience (2015).

Life story: Carla J. Shatz

Illustration showing the action of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and noradrenaline in the synaptic cleft. Vesicles containing the neurotransmitter (green) move towards the pre-synaptic membrane where they fuse with the cell membrane, releasing their contents into the synaptic cleft. The neurotransmitter molecules act on the post-synaptic cell by binding to specific receptors on the cell surface (purple). They can also be taken back up by the presynaptic cell via other receptors (orange) for re-use. (Credit: Arran Lewis, Wellcome Images)

Carla J. Shatz giving a lecture at the 2016 Kavli Prize week (Photo: Thomas Eckhoff)

Read the life story of Kavli Prize Laureate Carla J. Shatz in her own words:

A Love of Science and Art


Watch videos with Carla J. Shatz:

Carla Shatz Focuses on the Big Questions.

Stanford Professor Carla Shatz wins the 2016 Kavli Neuroscience Prize.

Carla Shatz studies the developing brain.