The Max Planck Florida Institute (MPFI) announced today that Duke University neuroscientist Ryohei Yasuda, PhD will join the Institute as Scientific Director of the Neuronal Signal Transduction Research Group. Dr. Yasuda will be the third Scientific Director for the Institute, joining CEO David Fitzpatrick, PhD and Nobel laureate Bert Sakmann, MD, PhD in this role, which provides unparalleled long-term research support and scientific freedom.  Dr. Yasuda’s appointment was announced during the inaugural MPFI-International Brain Research Organization (IBRO) scientific symposium, “Neural Circuits: From Molecules to Behavior,” at which he spoke.   Dr. Yasuda will join MPFI in Summer 2012, along with new research group leaders Hyungbae Kwon, PhD and Hiroki Taniguchi, PhD, when the Institute moves into its new state-of-the-art research facility in Jupiter, Florida.  Dr. Yasuda’s addition means that MPFI will have nine research groups, each dedicated to investigating different aspects of the structure and function of neural circuits.  One of the ultimate challenges in biology is to understand neural circuits, which form the complex synaptic networks of the brain and determine who we are, how we think, and how we behave.

“To be part of the Max Planck Society and the Max Planck Florida Institute is a tremendous honor, and will enable me to join a great community of leading scientists,” says Dr. Yasuda. “This appointment will allow me to explore new collaborations that will lead to new and exciting directions for my research.”

Dr. Yasuda comes to MPFI from Duke University, where he is an assistant professor and directs a Department of Neurobiology laboratory focused on molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity. He also serves as one of only 50 researchers across the U.S. recognized as an Early Career Scientist by Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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