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Donald W. Pfaff John Wiley Jones Lecture
Friday, April 24, 2009             1:00 PM             VanPeursem Auditorium (08-1250)

The lecture is open to all.                The Brain’s Control of Behavior 


Dr. Donald Pfaff, will speak on " The Brain’s Control of Behavior ". He is head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior at The Rockefeller University. Dr. Pfaff is a brain scientist who uses neuroanatomical, neurochemical and neurophysiological methods to study the cellular mechanisms by which the brain controls behavior.

Abstract: Dr. Pfaff will discuss how he studies the brain's regulation of behavior by describing three much different levels of investigation. First, he concentrated on explaining mechanisms a very simple sex behavior that lab animals use to reproduce. Second, he focuses on a very abstract concept that deals with waking up our entire brain. Third, he'll summarize a parsimonious theory of how humans manage to behave well toward each other, to obey the 'Golden Rule' (when they do). There will be questions and discussion after each of the three segments of his talk.


Bio: Donald W. Pfaff, Ph.D. is professor and head of the Laboratory of Neurobiology and Behavior at the Rockefeller University, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has studied the brain and behavior for more than 30 years and is known for discovering the brain-cell targets for steroid hormones and leading the studies that proved that specific chemicals acting in specific parts of the brain determine individual behavioral responses. He has served as editor, or on the editorial board, of 21 journals and is author or co-author of 16 scientific books and more than 600 scientific articles.

A brief history of John Wiley Jones and the creation of the lectureship and endowment fund follows.

John Wiley Jones


John Wiley Jones was an entrepreneur, businessman, and a dedicated philanthropist. He started his business career by producing Sunny Sol bleach in a bathtub in the basement of his parent’s home and selling it door to door out of the trunk of his car. In 1929, he started Jones Chemical Company, which has become the world’s leading re-packager of chlorine and other chemicals used for water purification. With 12 production facilities in the U.S., Jones Chemicals makes and distributes chlorine and other chemicals used in water purification, paper and textile manufacturing, food production, pharmaceuticals and industrial manufacturing.

John Wiley Jones had a passion for science education and was a generous contributor to academic excellence at RIT. In 1974, Jones Chemicals established the John Wiley Jones Distinguished Lectureship in Science for the purpose of making a significant contribution to the education programs of RIT’s College of Science. Jones’ intention was to bring eminent scientists to the RIT campus with the expectation of a formal lecture presentation that would be open to the public. The company also created an endowment fund to support science education at RIT, the first grant of its kind in the university’s history. A portion of this endowment was used to establish the John Wiley Jones Award for Outstanding Students in Science as a tangible expression of Mr. Jones’ desire to help and encourage young people preparing themselves for careers in scientific fields. He believed that protecting the environment and making the world safer and more fruitful for all people would pose a significant challenge for future scientists. In their selection of the John Wiley Jones Outstanding Students in Science, the six departments of the College of Science must take into account the student’s academic achievements, citizenship, and contributions to the quality of campus life. This year’s recipients will receive a cash award and a certificate.


Past recipients