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Ivan Izquierdo

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Ivan Antonio Izquierdo is a renowned Brazilian scientist and a pioneer in the study of the neurobiology of learning and memory. Born in 1937 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Izquierdo has graduated in Medicine (1961) and completed his Ph.D. in Pharmacology (1962), both in the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). For nearly a decade, Izquierdo was professor in the National University of Cordoba (UNC), in Argentina, but, due to a confluence of reasons, both political (the Argentinian dictatorship) and personal (his wife, Ivone, is Brazilian), he moved to Brazil in the beginning of the seventies, and since 1978 lives in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. For more than 20 years he has worked in the "Center of Memory" of the Biochemistry Department of the Health Basic Sciences Institute (ICBS) at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), where he has had an enormous influence on young scientists: he has trained 42 Ph.D. students, most of whom who hold academic research positions in universities in Brazil and elsewhere. Recently, he moved to the Pontificial Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) where he continues with his research.

Ivan Izquierdo has made several key contributions to understanding of the cellular bases of brain processes underlying memory storage and retrieval. His research work is focused in the biological mechanisms of memory processes, employing multiple experimental approaches that range from behavioral psychobiology to neurochemistry, pharmacology, neurophysiology and experimental neurology, usually employing intracerebral microinfusions of drugs and assaying its effects upon different brain receptors, cellular processes, and, in particular, behavioral performance in different tasks. He was among the first to reveal the roles of epinephrine, dopamine, endogenous opioid peptides and acetylcholine in modulating memory consolidation and state-dependent memory retrieval. Later he has investigated benzodiazepine and GABAergic influences on memory. Some of his main achievements include the molecular bases of memory formation, retrieval, persistence and extinction in the mammal brain, the endogenous state dependency, and the functional discrimination between short and long-term memory.

Over the years, Ivan Izquierdo has published more than 500 scientific papers in refereed journals and was, for years, one of the most cited scientists in Brasil (and Latin America): 13 of his papers have been cited over 100 times, and since 1958 his papers have received over 10,000 citations. He has also published 17 books, 6 of which are fiction / chronicle, a recent, parallel avenue of personal interest.

Member of several Academies of Sciences in Brasil and abroad - he was elected Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in May 1st, 2007 - and has earned more than 30 important national and international awards, including the highest civilian badge of honour of Brazil, the Ordem do Barão do Rio Branco" (2007). In Argentina, Izquierdo is the eighth person since 1821 to be named Honorary Professor of the University of Buenos Aires: seven of the others were Nobel Laureates.



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