Dr. Katz was also James B. Duke Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center. He received his B.A. degree in biology from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology, where he worked with Masakazu Konishi. Before moving to Duke, he did postdoctoral work with Torsten Wiesel at the Rockefeller University. Dr. Katz was a Lucille P. Markey Foundation scholar, a McKnight Foundation scholar, and a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from the Society for Neuroscience and the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists. He was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
RESEARCH ABSTRACT SUMMARY:
While humans interpret the world primarily through their well-developed visual and auditory senses, most other mammals use their acute sense of smell to detect predators, defend territory, recognize other individuals, and find food and mates. To accomplish these myriad functions, mammals are equipped with two distinct chemosensory organs: the main olfactory system, which detects airborne odors, and the vomeronasal system, which detects species-specific signals called pheromones. Until his recent death, Lawrence Katz's lab used the mouse as a model to examine how olfactory signals important for basic, built-in behaviors are encoded by these two distinct systems, and how the neural circuits they activate elicit species-specific behaviors.
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Photo: Jim Wallace, Duke University Photography