A Stony Brook University professor won the university’s Discovery Prize and the $200,000 in research funding that comes along with it.
Il Memming Park, an assistant professor of neurobiology and behavior, won Tuesday for research that aims to better understand the brain while it is in unconscious states. Park’s project, which is titled “Personalized Landscape of Unconsciousness,” uses machine learning and other technology, a university news release said.
“I am exhilarated by winning the Discovery Prize, and the award will help me get to the next stage of my research, [which] is to develop the neurotechnology further and apply it to biological models of the brain,” he said in a statement. “I am looking forward to expanding collaborations on this research with colleagues in neurobiology, neurosurgery and other disciplines at Stony Brook University.”
A panel of State University of New York professors chose Park and three other Stony Brook researchers as finalists among 20 submissions from Stony Brook faculty.
On Tuesday, the four presented their research to a panel of judges that included Nobel Prize winner Dr. Michael Brown, the chair in cholesterol and arteriosclerosis research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Dr. Barry Coller, physician in chief and vice president for medical affairs at Rockefeller University in Manhattan; and James Simons, former chairman of the mathematics department at Stony Brook and chairman of the Simons Foundation.
The university created the prize in 2013 with a donation from the Stony Brook Foundation’s board of trustees. Among the goals of the prize is to promote groundbreaking work that federal and other funding agencies would be unlikely to support. The focus is on “early career” faculty members.