Alex Kolodkin Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Alex Kolodkin, Ph.D., the Charles J. Homcy and Simeon G. Margolis Professor, the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. Kolodkin’s research focuses on how connections among brain cells called neurons are formed during development and then maintained, and sometimes altered, in the adult. While a postdoctoral fellow he discovered a family of proteins called semaphorins that help neurons extend their armlike structures, called axons and dendrites, to their correct targets, enabling neurons to form functional circuits that influence behavior. Kolodkin joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 1995, and his laboratory investigates how neurons connect in a variety of settings, including the visual system and the neocortex. Kolodkin is deputy director of the School of Medicine’s Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences.