The Eppendorf and Science Prize in Neurobiology recognizes outstanding neurobiological research by a young scientist, as described in a 1,000 word essay based on research performed within the last three years. The grand prize winner receives $25,000 from Eppendorf, and the winner's essay will be published in the 04 November 2005 issue of Science.
Three finalist essays will be published at Science Online (http://www.scienceonline.org). The winner as well as the finalists will be recognized at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in November in Washington, DC.
Pingxi Xu left a career as a pediatrician to study basic science. Although his focus has moved from babies to bugs, his goal remains essentially the same: to improve human health by preventing the occurrence and spread of disease.
Xu studies how fruit flies use chemical signals called pheromones to influence the behavior of other fruit flies. Devising ways to change insect behavior by manipulating pheromone-signaling systems could provide sustainable ways to control the insect pests that have a profound impact on human health and agriculture. Xu is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas.
Xu has discovered that small proteins known as "odorant binding proteins" are required for pheromone signaling in fruit flies. Odorant binding proteins may function as adaptors that link pheromone molecules to neurons, according to Xu. A full understanding of the mechanisms of pheromone percepti
Contact: Natasha Pinol
American Association for the Advancement of Science