Scientific Advisory Board Member

Mary Kennedy, PhD; Cal Tech, The Allen and Lenabelle Davis Professor of Biology

Dr. Kennedy is the Allen and Lenabelle Davis Professor of Biology in the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at California Institute of Technology located in Pasadena, CA. She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1975. For her postdoctoral work, she entered the field of neuronal biochemistry. She worked in the laboratory of Dr. Ed Kravitz in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and then worked with Dr. Paul Greengard at Yale Medical School. She joined the Division of Biology at Caltech in 1981 as an Assistant Professor. Her laboratory focuses on understanding the biochemical signaling proteins and pathways in excitatory synapses in the CNS. In the course of this work, they discovered and characterized the central regulatory enzyme Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, the major postsynaptic scaffold protein PSD-95, and co-discovered (and named) synGAP in 1998. She received the Fondation Ipsen Prize in Neuronal Plasticity in 2006 for her work on protein complexes in the postsynaptic density. Her lab now studies several functions of synGAP that contribute to regulating and orchestrating biochemical modifications involved in synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory.