Winrich Freiwald, assistant professor and head of the Laboratory of Neural Systems at The Rockefeller University, has been named a Robertson Investigator by the New York Stem Cell Foundation. He is one of seven scientists who will receive $1.5 million over the next five years to expand their laboratories and train other scientists.
The program names investigators in two categories — stem cell research and neuroscience — and is designed to support scientists engaged in cutting-edge translational research as they make the transition from the postdoctoral phase of their careers to the establishment of their own laboratories.
Freiwald researches the neural processes that allow the brain to recognize objects and maintain attention. Currently his lab is examining the inner workings of the face recognition system in the brain, from the level of specific cells to the interactions of brain areas, and how they respond to faces and then relay and integrate their messages to produce social recognition. His research addresses questions and mechanisms that are relevant to interpersonal interactions, as well as disorders that interfere with basic neural processing skills, such as autism.
The New York Stem Cell Foundation is an independent research institute founded in 2005 that aims to accelerate cures and better treatments for patients through stem cell research. The foundation has more than 45 researchers in its New York laboratory and supports another 60 researchers at other leading institutions worldwide through its Innovator Programs.