Dr. Michael (Mike) Merzenich is the Francis Sooy Professor in the Keck Center for Integrative Neurosciences at the University of California at San Francisco. In parallel with the landmark studies of his UCSF team in the science of neuroplasticity, he has worked with other scientists, medical specialists, psychologists, engineers and other technical specialists to develop training programs based on this science, and designed to improve the behavioral capacities and neurological abilities of children and adults in need of help. Almost a million individuals have now benefited from the use of these programs.
Dr. Merzenich has been a leading pioneer in brain plasticity for more than 3 decades. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the Ipsen Prize, the ZÃ¼lch Prize of the Max-Planck Institute, the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, and the Purkinje Medal. His colleagues and he have published several hundred articles including many in leading peer-reviewed journals such as Science and Nature. His work has also been extensively covered in the popular press, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Discover and Newsweek. Merzenich has appeared on Sixty Minutes II, CBS Evening News and Good Morning America.
In the late 1980s, Dr. Merzenich led a UCSF team that invented a cochlear implant that was engineered in commercial form and is now distributed by Advanced Bionics (a division of Boston Scientiifc Corporation). In 1996, Dr. Merzenich was the founding CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation (www.scientificlearning.com), which has developed, markets, and distributes brain-science-based training programs that apply the principles of brain plasticity to substantially improve the language, reading, and cognitive abilities of school-aged children. In 2003, he co-founded Posit Science Corporation (www.positscience.com), which develops and applies brain-plasticity-based training programs designed to improve the perceptual, cognitive, and motor performance abilities of normally aging individuals, and to help a wide range of neurologically and psychiatrically impaired populations. He is an inventor or co-inventor on more than 50 U.S. patents. Dr. Merzenich earned his BS degree at the University of Portland, his PhD at Johns Hopkins, and received additional post-doctoral research training at the University of Wisconsin.