Oral Histories

Snyder, Sol

Biographical Sketch:

Snyder attended Georgetown University 1955-1958 and received his MD from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1962. After medical internship at the Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco, he served as a research associate 1963-1965 at the NIH, where he studied under Julius Axelrod. Snyder moved to the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to complete his residency in psychiatry (1965–1968). He was appointed to the faculty there in 1966 as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology. In 1968 he was promoted to Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and in 1970 to Full Professor in both departments.
His laboratory is noted for the use of receptor binding studies to characterize the actions of neurotransmitters and psychoactive drugs. In 1973, with then-graduate student Candace Pert, he discovered the opioid receptor and later identified the existence of normally occurring opiate-like peptides in the brain. For this work he was awarded the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 1978. He also received the Wolf Prize from the President of Israel in 1983, the Bower Award of the Franklin Institute in 1992, the National Medal of Science in 2003 and the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research in 2007. He is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates and has been elected to honorific societies including the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Science, and the American Philosophical Society.
. He has described novel neurotransmitters such as the gases nitric oxide and carbon monoxide and the D-isomers of amino acids, notably D-serine.
Presently he is University Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In 1980, he founded the Department of Neuroscience, and served as its first director from 1980 to 2006. In 2006, the department was renamed as the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience in his honor.
In 1980, he served as the President of the Society for Neuroscience. He is also Associate Editor, PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America). He helped start the companies Nova Pharmaceuticals and Guilford Pharmaceuticals and has been an active philanthropist.
He is listed by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as one of the 10 most-often cited biologists and he also has the highest h-index of any living biologist.

Snyder, Sol
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Interview History:

Interviewer: Hollister



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