The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience is an independent organization funded solely by The McKnight Foundation of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and led by a board of prominent neuroscientists from around the country. The McKnight Scholar Awards are granted to young scientists who are in the early stages of establishing their own independent laboratories and research careers and who have demonstrated a commitment to neuroscience. Each scholar receives $225,000 to support his or her research.
The McKnight Foundation has supported neuroscience research since 1977. The Foundation established the Endowment Fund in 1986 to carry out one of the intentions of founder William L. McKnight (1887-1979), who was one of the early leaders of what is now the 3M Company.
Bradley Dickerson, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Princeton University in New Jersey, is one of this year’s six winners. His research investigates how the fruit fly uses feedback from its wings and specialized organs to both maintain stable flight and rapidly maneuver when navigating through complex environments, and how this process plays out at neural and whole-body scales. He hopes to document what neurons send what signals to which muscles, and how this leads to specific motions — creating a model of how brains, neurons, and muscles communicate that can advance our understanding of how movement is controlled.
Dr. Dickerson joined the Princeton faculty earlier this year. Earlier, he was an assistant professor of biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A graduate of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Dr. Dickerson earned a Ph.D. in biology at the University of Washington and then served as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral research fellow at the California Institute of Technology.