Columbia University in the City of New York

Photo courtesy of Columbia University Medical Center

Eric R. Kandel, MD

University Professor and Kavli Professor of Brain Science; Codirector of Columbia's Zuckerman Institute; Senior Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute


Codirector Eric Kandel identified the physiological changes that occur in the brain during the formation and storage of memories — work that won him the Nobel Prize in 2000. He is now working on what causes age-related memory loss.

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About Eric R. Kandel

Eric Kandel, Nobel Prize winner and Co-Director of the Zuckerman Institute

Eric R. Kandel is a Nobel laureate; University Professor at Columbia University; Kavli Professor and director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science; codirector, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute; and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine, Dr. Kandel trained in neurobiology at the NIH and in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He joined the faculty of the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1974 as the founding director of the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior. At Columbia Dr. Kandel organized the neuroscience curriculum. He is an editor of Principles of Neural Science, the standard textbook in the field, now in its fifth edition. In 2006, Dr. Kandel wrote a book on the brain for the general public entitled In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, which won both the L.A. Times and U.S. National Academy of Science Awards for best book in Science and Technology in 2008. A documentary film based on that book is also entitled In Search of Memory. In 2012 Dr. Kandel wrote The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present, which won the Kreisky Award in Literature, Austria’s highest literary award. Dr. Kandel’s newest book, entitled Reductionism in Art and Brain Science: Bridging the Two Cultures, published by Columbia University Press, was released in Fall 2016.

Dr. Kandel’s research has been concerned with the molecular mechanisms of memory storage in Aplysia and mice. More recently, he has studied animal models in mice; age-related memory disorders; post-traumatic stress disorders; and nicotine, alcohol, marijuana and cocaine addiction. Dr. Kandel has received twenty-three honorary degrees and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London and a member of the National Science Academies of Austria, France, Germany and Greece. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the Heineken Award of the Netherlands, the Gairdner Award of Canada, the Harvey Prize and the Wolf Prize of Israel, the National Medal of Science USA and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000.

Videos Featuring Eric Kandel

We Are What We Remember, with Dr. Eric Kandel

Nobel laureate Eric Kandel discusses the biology of memory and age-related memory disorders. This lecture is part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Brain Insight Lecture series.

Long-term Memories Are Maintained by Prion-like Proteins

Research from Eric Kandel’s lab has uncovered further evidence of a system in the brain that persistently maintains memories for long periods of time.

A Major Cause of Age Related Memory Loss Identified

Study points to possible treatments and confirms distinction between memory loss due to aging and that of Alzheimer's.

A Conversation Between Eric Kandel and Jeff Koons

Eric Kandel, MD, and the Zuckerman Institute have invited artist Jeff Koons to be the Institute’s first artist-in-residence.