Published: June 22, 2001


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EAST LANSING, Mich. - S. Marc Breedlove, one of the world's foremost authorities on the development of the central nervous system, will be the first faculty member to hold the Barnett Rosenberg Chair in Neuroscience at Michigan State University.

The appointment, which comes with a tenured professorship in the departments of Psychology and Zoology, was approved today by the MSU Board of Trustees. Breedlove's appointment is effective Aug. 16.

The chair is named in honor of Barnett Rosenberg, a former MSU professor of chemistry who developed cisplatin, one of the most widely used and effective cancer drugs in the world.

Breedlove comes to MSU from the University of California-Berkeley, where he is a professor of psychology.

"Dr. Breedlove is one of the top authorities on how differences between male and female nervous systems arise during neural development," said Cheryl L. Sisk, professor of psychology and director of the MSU Neuroscience Program. "We are extremely fortunate to have him join our faculty."

"I see the recruitment of Professor Breedlove to the Rosenberg chair as a major coup that will bring national attention to this important and growing area of life science research and education at MSU," said George E. Leroi, dean of the College of Natural Science.

Breedlove has been on the faculty at UC-Berkeley since 1982, when he was appointed an assistant professor of psychology. He was named associate professor in 1987 and full professor in 1991.

Among his areas of research are sexual differentiation of the brain and spinal cord, morphological sex differences in the nervous system, and permanent and transient effects of hormones on neurons. His work is federally funded by both the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Breedlove has published extensively, including two widely used textbooks. Among his honors: the Presidential Young Investigator Award; the McKnight Foundation Scholar's Award in Neurosciences; an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship in Neurosciences; and the James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Award for Psychologists.

He also is a fellow of the American Psychological Society.

Breedlove earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Yale University (1976) and a master's (1978) and doctorate (1982) from the University of California-Los Angeles.

Rosenberg retired from MSU in 1997. The drug he developed - cisplatin - continues to be one of the world's most effective treatments for cancer. It has a cure rate of nearly 100 percent for testicular cancers, and significantly lowers the rates of lung cancers, head and neck cancers, bone cancers and early stage ovarian cancers.

Recently it was discovered that when combined with standard radiation therapy, cisplatin dramatically reduces deaths from cervical cancers.

The MSU Neuroscience Program promotes research, graduate training and other scholarly activity among faculty and students in a number of disciplines. The program's current research interests include autonomic nervous system function, neural development and plasticity, neuroendocrinology and neural imaging.

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