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Patricia Goldman-Rakic

Born April 22, 1937
Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Died July 31, 2003
Hamden, Connecticut, USA
Residence Flag of the United States.svg USA
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg USA
Fields neurobiology
Institutions Yale University
Alma mater Vassar, UCLA
Doctoral advisor Wendell Jeffrey
Notable awards National Academy of Sciences; Karl Lashley Award; Fyssen Prize; Ralph Gerard Prize.

Patricia Goldman-Rakic (pronounced ra-KEESH) (born Patricia Shoer) (April 22, 1937 – July 31, 2003) was an American neuroscientist/neurobiologist known for her pioneering study of the frontal lobe and her work on the cellular basis of working memory.[1]





Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Goldman-Rakic earned her bachelor's degree in neurobiology from Vassar in 1959, and her doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles in Developmental Psychology in 1963.[2][3]


Goldman-Rakic had two sisters, both of whom earned PhD’s in science. Goldman-Rakic was married to Pasko Rakic, also a neuroscientist; they had no children. Before they were married, Goldman-Rakic and Rakic maintained a long distance relationship between 1974 and 1977. They were married in 1977.[2]


After postdoctoral positions at UCLA and New York University, she worked at the National Institute of Mental Health in neuropsychology and ultimately as chief of developmental neurobiology.[2] She moved to Yale School of Medicine in 1979 where she remained until her death. She was The Eugene Higgins Professor of Neuroscience in the neurobiology department with joint appointments in the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and psychology.[4]


On July 29, 2003, Goldman-Rakic was struck by a car while crossing a street in Hamden, Connecticut. She died two days later, on July 31 at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Goldman-Rakic was 66 years old.[4] She is buried in Grove Street Cemetery.[5]

Contributions to science

Goldman-Rakic was the first to discover and describe the order and structure of the frontal cortex. Because of Goldman-Rakic, scientists began to better understand the neurobiological basis of normal behavior and of such disorders as schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, A.D.D., cerebral palsy, Parkinson's, and dementia. She used a multidisciplinary approach applying biochemical, electrophysiological, pharmacological, anatomical and behavioral techniques to study memory, behavior and drugs.[5]. Goldman-Rakic is also the founder of the Cerebral Cortex Journal, a specialized publication by Oxford Press.

Awards [2]

See also


  1. ^ Renowned neuroscientist Patricia Goldman-Rakic dies, Yale Bulletin and Calendar, Volume 32, Number 1, August 29, 2003
  2. ^ a b c d "Patricia Goldman-Rakic." Newsmakers, Issue 4. Gale Group, 2002. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.
  3. ^ J. M. Fuster, Patricia Goldman-Rakic 1937-2003, Nature Neuroscience 6, 1015 (2003) doi:10.1038/nn1003-1015
  4. ^ a b M. Dawson, Patricia Goldman-Rakic dies, The Scientist 2003, 4(1):20030807-03
  5. ^ a b In Memoriam: Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Yale news release

External links


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