Duke Neurobiology's Erich D. Jarvis, PhD is the recipient of the 2015 Ernest Everett Just Award from the American Society for Cell Biology. In his associated essay, Jarvis writes, "I believe the evidence will show that the science we conduct and discoveries we make are influenced by our cultural experience, whether they be positive, negative, or neutral. I grew up as a person of color in the United States of America, faced with challenges that many had as members of an underrepresented minority group. I write here about some of the lessons I have learned that have allowed me to survive as an underrepresented minority scientist in a majority environment."
Jarvis' lab at Duke University strives to determine the molecular mechanisms that construct, modify, and maintain neural circuits for vocal learning, a critical behavioral substrate for spoken language. His approach includes studies of behavior, neurophysiology, optogenetics, and molecular methods to study learned vocal communication in songbirds and mice.
Erich Jarvis' full ASCB Award Essay is also available to read in the PDF below.