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Executive Director Olds to Head Krasnow
Institute at George Mason University
ince 1995, Dr. James L. Olds has
been the Executive Director of
the American Association of
Anatomists. When he first joined the
AAA in this capacity, the Association
was going from a situation in which a
person was in this position part-time
to one in which there was a full-time
executive director. Dr. Olds was perfect for the AAA during this period of
transition. His enthusiasm and energy
resulted in many positive changes and
new developments for the association.
These included but were not limited to
enlarging the AAA Newsletter, developing and administering a very effective
web site, interfacing with the many
offices at FASEB to represent and promote the interests of the AAA, and
working in a most cooperative and
helpful way with the elected officers of
the AAA. Of particular importance, Dr.
Olds worked with the AAA Program
Co-Secretaries and with the overall
FASEB program secretary to the ultimate benefit of our annual program.
Dr. Olds also engineered the opportunity for three of our presidents (Gershon, Schoenwolf, and Carlson) to testify before Congress.
Dr. Olds was born in California and
educated at Amherst College (B.A. in
chemistry, 1978) and at the University
of Michigan (Ph.D. in neuroscience,
1987). After receiving his Ph.D. degree, he joined the Imaging Unit of the
Laboratory of Adaptive Systems DIR
BNP at the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke of the NIH.
At the NIH, his research was directed
toward understanding the mechanisms
that permit neurons and neuronal assemblies to store and to recall events
that collectively form what we call
memories. His work also elucidated
the essential role of protein kinase C in
the molecular chain of events that lead
to associative learning. In addition to
his own research program, Dr. Olds
Dr. James L. Olds
served as the chief of the Imaging Unit
(1987–1995), overseeing its day-to-day
function. During his period at the
Laboratory of Adaptive Systems, the
Laboratory supported two postdoctoral fellows and eight graduate students.
From 1989–1995, Dr. Olds served as
the United States government’s project
officer (COTR) for a 6 year contract to
develop biologically based artificial
neural networks. These networks are
applied to the development of artificial
intelligence systems in such diverse
fields as handwriting recognition, differential diagnosis based on medical
imaging, and land management from
satellite imagery.
Dr. Olds has been elected to offices
including Counselor of the Michigan
chapter of the Society of Neuroscience, member of the corporation of
the Marine Biological Laboratory
(MBL), and President of the Potomac
chapter of the Society for Neuroscience. He also founded a Usenet news
group, served as a member of the
Computer Advisory Committee of
MBL, was a member of a Special
Editorial Board of The Biological Bulletin, and received an NIH award of
merit. In recent years, Dr. Olds has
served on the Advisory Committee for
the NIH research festival, chaired the
Steering Committee NIH Integrated
Neuroscience Special Interest Group,
and received an NINDS award given
to employees who receive patents. In
his position as executive director of
the AAA, Dr. Olds served as our representative at many FASEB functions
and served on the FASEB Ethics in
Science Subcommittee. Dr. Olds is a
member of the AAA, the Society for
Neuroscience, the American Society
for Neurochemistry, and the Council
of Engineering and Scientific Society
Over the years, Dr. Olds has been
invited to present his work literally
around the world. He has presented
talks at many locations in the United
States and in Spain, Italy, the French
West Indies, and Germany. His current research interests focus on the
functional role of the mammalian neocortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum
with special emphasis on how these
highly ordered regions of the central
nervous system interact to store and
retrieve complex memories such as
face recognition. He also continues his
research on protein kinase C and the
role it plays in cellular transformation
with particular emphasis on changes
associated with cellular events related
to memory. Dr. Olds has published the
results of his research in internationally recognized journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States of America,
Brain Research, Behavioral Brain Research, Developmental Biology, Science, and other journals. He was also a
guest editor for Neuroprotocols, Volume 5, which covered imaging biological changes in living cells.
Effective July 1, 1998, Dr. Olds be-
came the director of the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Studies at George
Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
The Krasnow Institute was founded
by a bequest from Shelley Krasnow, an
electrical engineer and philanthropist
who, through his work and contributions to society, became highly regarded as a philosopher and humanist. The Institute’s mission sits squarely
at the intersection of neurobiology,
cognitive neurosciences, and computer sciences. One of its early accomplishments was a conference cosponsored with the Santa Fe Institute and
hosted at George Mason University
entitled ‘‘The Mind, the Brain, and
Complex Adaptive Systems.’’ The Institute continues its efforts to understand the human mind through studies concerned with neural networking,
molecular neurobiology, behavior, and
computer modeling.
The American Association of Anatomists expresses its sincere appreciation to our friend, colleague, and collaborator, Jim Olds, for his outstanding
service to our Association since 1995.
During his tenure as executive director, our Association has made many
important advances and improvements
that will move us into the next century
in a vigorous and progressive mode.
While we are certainly sorry to lose Dr.
Olds, we look forward to his continued
participation in the AAA, and we wish
him all the best and the greatest successes as Director of the Krasnow Institute.
Duane E. Haines
Secretary-Treasurer, AAA
Chairman, Editorial Advisory
r 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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