Thomas Christian Südhof obtained his M.D. and doctoral degrees from the University of Göttingen in 1982. He performed his doctoral thesis work at the Max-Planck-Institut für biophysikalische Chemie in Göttingen with Prof. Victor P. Whittaker on the biophysical structure of secretory granules, and his internship in the University of Göttingen Hospitals from 1981 to 1982. From 1983-1986, Südhof trained as a postdoctoral fellow with Drs. Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX, and elucidated the structure, expression and cholesterol-dependent regulation of the LDL receptor gene. Subsequently, Südhof served on the faculty of UT Southwestern in Dallas until 2008. At UT Southwestern, Südhof served as the founding chair of the Department of Neuroscience. In 2008, Südhof moved to Stanford University, where he currently holds the position of Avram Goldstein Professor in the School of Medicine, and serves as a Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Neurosurgery, Neurology, and Psychiatry. In addition, Südhof has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1986. Südhof’s research interests focus on how synapses transmit and process information in neural circuits. Towards this goal, he is currently studying how synapses are formed to enable the establishment of the specific connections that constructs a neural circuit, how the properties of synapses -for example, their content of neurotransmitter receptors- are specified, and how synapses are modulated by plasticity. Moreover, Südhof’s research aims to contribute to our understanding of how synapses become dysfunctional and degenerate in neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to his academic research activities, Südhof has worked with multiple pharmaceutical companies, has co-founded four biotech companies, is a member of the Board of Directors for Sanofi, and serves on the advisory boards of multiple biomedical companies. Südhof is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the Royal Society of the UK, Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Südhof is the recipient of several awards, including the Alden Spencer Award (1993), the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology (1997), the Bristol-Myers Award in Neuroscience (2004), the Passano Award (2008), the Kavli Award in Neuroscience (2010), the Lasker-deBakey Medical Basic Research Award (2013), and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2013).
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