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Stephen G. Lisberger, PhD, a nationally renowned investigator who studies how brain mechanisms transform visual motion into accurate eye movements, has been named chair of the Department of Neurobiology at Duke University School of Medicine.

Lisberger is currently an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a professor of Physiology at the University of California at San Francisco.

“Steve is a world-class scientist and innovator who thinks broadly about neuroscience,” says Nancy Andrews, MD, PhD, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas to the Department of Neurobiology.”

Lisberger will begin working part time at Duke in September, and will officially assume his role on January 1, 2012.

"Duke has a strong tradition of excellence in neurobiology and is home to many accomplished neuroscientists across several departments,” says Lisberger, who will continue to be a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at Duke.

“I look forward to bringing excellent young scientists to the Department of Neurobiology. I hope that graduate training in Neurobiology can become a focus of the institution and will strive to help the neuroscience community achieve a level of interaction that makes the whole much greater than the sum of the parts."

Lisberger is the founding director of the W.M. Keck Foundation Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, and a co-director of the Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology. He has spent the past 15 years analyzing the neural mechanisms that transform visual motion signals into commands for smooth pursuit eye movements.

Lisberger received his BA at Cornell, and a PhD in physiology and physics at the University of Washington where he worked in the Primate Center with Dr. Albert Fuchs. He completed his postdoctoral work with Dr. Fred Miles at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before joining the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 1981.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience, as well as the McKnight Investigator award and McKnight Scholar award.

He spent 11 years as a section editor and senior editor for The Journal of Neuroscience, and has been the Chief Editor of Neuroscience since early 2010.