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Celebrating Female Scientists: May-Britt Moser

We're celebrating Women's History Month by highlighting female scientists! Each Wednesday of the month on the blog, we'll feature a new female scientist that is changing our world as we know it (also featured on our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter every Thursday of the month). Our second highlighted female scientist is May-Britt Moser; learn about her work and accomplishments below!

May-Britt Moser is a Norwegian psychologist and neuroscientist, and she is currently a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She and her then-husband, Edvard Moser, shared half of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded for their work concerning the grid cells in the entorhinal cortex as well as several additional space-representing cell types in the same circuit that make up the positioning system in the brain.


May received a degree in psychology from the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo in 1990. She was then employed as a research fellow at the Faculty of Medicine where she was awarded her Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1995. She and Evard Moser went on to undertake postdoctoral training with Richard Morris at the Centre for Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh from 1995 to 1996 and were visiting postdoctoral fellows at the laboratory of John O'Keefe at the University College, London, for two months.


Together, May and Edvard returned to Norway in 1996 where May was appointed associate professor in biological psychology at the Department of Psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. She was promoted to full professor of neuroscience at NTNU in 2000. May and Edvard were instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for Biology of Memory (CBM) in 2022 and the Institute of Systems Neuroscience at NTNU in 2007. May has also been head of the department of the NTNU Centre for Neural Computation since 2012.


May and Edvard pioneered research on the brain's mechanism for representing space together with their mentor John O'Keefe. May and Edvard discovered types of cells that are important for determining position (spacial representation) close to the hippocampus, an area deep in the brain that is important for encoding of space and also for episodic memory. May investigated correlations between the anatomical structure of the hippocampus and social learning in rats. Her work gave the ability for scientists to gain new knowledge about the cognitive processes and spatial deficits associated with human neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.


To learn more about May, visit https://www.ntnu.edu/employees/may-britt.moser. Come back next Wednesday for a blog where you can learn about another female scientist that is changing our world as we know it!

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