Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D.

Nancy Friend Pritzker Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences; Deputy Director, Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute; Director, Nancy Pritzker Laboratory;  Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Malenka is a world leader in elucidating the molecular mechanisms by which neural circuits are reorganized by experience. His many contributions over the last 25 years have laid the groundwork for a much more sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms by which neurons communicate and the adaptations in synaptic communication that underlie all forms of normal and pathological behavior. He has been at the forefront of helping to apply the knowledge gained from basic neuroscience research to the treatment and prevention of major neuropsychiatric disorders. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (2004) and an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009). His public service includes serving on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse and as a councilor for the Society for Neuroscience. He is the co-author of the textbook Molecular Neuropharmacology: A Foundation for Clinical Neuroscience and has served on the editorial boards of many prominent journals, including Neuron, Trends in Neuroscience, Biological Psychiatry and the American Journal of Psychiatry.

In 2022, Dr. Malenka was awarded the 2022 Peter Seeburg Integrative Neuroscience Prize for his ground-breaking research in identifying the mechanically distinct forms of synaptic plasticity present in the human brain by the Society for Neuroscience. His work has helped to distinctly separate the steps which lead to the varying forms of synaptic plasticity, while also identifying the proteins which contribute to the altering of synaptic efficacy over time. Recently, Malenka isolated a novel form of synaptic plasticity in the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain associated with reward pathways.

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Temkin, P., Morishita, W., Goswami, D., Arendt, K., Chen, L., & Malenka, R. The Retromer supports AMPA Receptor Trafficking During LTP, Neuron, April 5, 2017, Read More