Ed Chapman, PhD, has been awarded the Sir Bernard Katz award and will give a lecture at The Biophysical Society’s annual meeting this week, where he will also receive the award.

Chapman is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and a Ricardo Miledi Professor of Neuroscience in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health; he received the prize for his studies of exocytosis.

Chapman’s lab studies how neurons send chemical signals from one to another through synapses. A major focus is on fusion pores, openings that release neurotransmitters from the cell and play a key role in neurological and endocrine function.

His research on synaptic transmission has already led to approaches to address neurological disorders in which too much neurotransmitter release occurs. His future research will likely make it possible to adjust neurotransmitter release or hormone release upward or downward to treat a variety of neurological disorders.

Previously, Chapman was one of the first scientists to receive a prestigious new federal grant to support long-term research in the laboratories of some of the country’s most creative and productive scientists. He received this R35 Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Similar to HHMI, the R35 grant of $350,000 a year for five years supports the overall research program of the scientist, which in the case of the Chapman lab includes a variety of projects that touch on topics ranging from basic questions concerning neuronal cell biology to the action of Botox. Chapman also holds a Pew Innovation Award and is director of a new Quantitative Membrane Biophysics Program, which will address major problems in membrane biophysics.