On the same style no balloons and rhyming captions , Corriere dei Piccoli published the first Italian comic series; some of them Bonaventura by Sergio Tofano , Sor Pampurio by Carlo Bisi, Quadratino by Antonio Rubino, Bil Bol Bul by Attilio Mussino , were drawn keeping in mind the art movements of those times Cubism, Dadaism, Modernism , and reached a surprisingly high quality. The editorial formula of the Giornali has no correspondant in America; they were weekly tabloid-sized periodicals, and featured articles, games, short stories, and serialized comic series.
After having been serialized in the Giornali , the American and Italian stories were reprinted in albi devoted to a single character. When the supply of original strips ran out, episodes of the most popular characters in their new all-Italian names were created by local authors: Federico Fellini wrote some installments of Flash Gordon. After the war, comics returned with American films and Jazz music. But the Giornali formula was not as successful as in previous years; readers preferred smaller, comic-book sized magazines, with more pages and complete stories.
In Topolino cancelled all the non-Disney strips and assumed the current pocket format the same format as the recent Disney Adventures published in the U. Its success exceeded every expectation; after almost fifty years, Topolino is still the best-selling Disney magazine in the world. The most lasting strisce were interpreted by Western heroes, such as Tex by Bonelli and Galeppini,. Meanwhile, importation of American syndicated strips begun to slow down.
Until the beginning of the s, no important changes took place on the market; in Diabolik , by Angela and Luciana Giusani, introduced a new genre and a new format pocket-sized pages, two panels per page, with a complete story : for the first time, the hero of a comics series was a villain. S, broke out against fumetti neri. No wonder: the Church, critics and educationalists considered comics as a miseducating and socially dangerous medium. In the first of several fanzines Comics Club was published, and the first Comics Convention, the Salone Internazionale dei Comics was held in Bordighera it was transferred to Lucca the following year.
The Marvel line of Super Heroes , brought out by Editoriale Corno, enjoied for a while an unexpected popularity. The comics market was totally disrupted: TV offered programs of all genres, free of charge, 24 hour a day. Hard-core video killed the market of erotic comics. Only the publications characterized with high-quality long stories — needing an hour or more to be read — could offer a valid alternative to television.
Linus 30, copies monthly and Comic Art The Italian branch of Marvel publishes the bulk of super-hero-type comics, that are now enjoing a small boom, with combined sales of appriximately 6,, copies a year.
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He never hesitated to adopt methods that were completely new to him. A great example is his recent publication in Neuron in which he used a sophisticated active avoidance task paired with viral injection to ectopically express kinase dead and constitutive active CaMKII. In this publication he provided evidence for his model that CaMKII is required for maintenance of memory.
This finding was most remarkable because John was by trait an electrophysiologist yet solved a puzzle with respect to earlier findings that CaMKII TD did not behave as expected, i. However, thanks to his inquisitive mind and openness to methods far beyond his original own ones he had developed a remarkably deep understanding of molecular mechanisms and how to analyze them. John was a generous person who readily opened his home to visitors in Boston as well as at Woods Hole. The goal was unimaginable for that time: optical quantal analysis from single dendritic spines in hippocampal slices.
Our optical equipment was custom-made from parts and pieces and not quite up to the task; still we managed to establish the methodology and got promising results Malinow et al. The most remarkable memory I have from that time is witnessing how John and Roberto discussed the project and planned experiments. They looked like two thrilled excited kids playing with building blocks. The process involved a lightning-speed exchange of facts and ideas, which was quite entertaining but also educational.
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It turned out that using custom equipment barely suitable to ambitious problems and approaching scientific goals with excitement and free-floating mind, were characteristic qualities for these two great scientists with whom I have had opportunity to work. The early s was the time when John transitioned from Limulus photo-transduction to the field of synaptic memory. His hypothesis that CaMKII works as a memory switch sustaining itself by self-activation due to autophosphorylation Lisman, , ; Lisman and Goldring, a , b just started gaining recognition.
Several laboratories had already reported results consistent with the idea. There was one problem: initial attempts of the most critical experiment, which could prove or disprove the hypothesis, were contradictory. In January , I joined John's laboratory small and underfunded at that time and started to develop methodology for this critical experiment. The idea was simple: if a CaMKII activity-switch is persistently turned-on during memory formation, then inhibiting the kinase activity during memory storage should flip the switch back off to the resting state and reverse the memory.
Importantly, the reversal should be permanent and not recover after removing the inhibition, while a new memory could be induced at that time, indicating that the memory switch had not been damaged Lisman, We developed a methodology for reversible infusion of a CaMKII inhibitor intracellularly through a patch-pipette after induction of synaptic memory long-term potentiation, LTP in a single neuron.
The goal of finding out the mechanism of memory storage was thrilling and we worked hard to achieve it. After performing several modifications of the experiment with numerous controls, the data looked clean and convincing. To our huge disappointment, however, the results were not what we expected: the pre-established LTP was not reversed Otmakhov et al. By that time, John already had published a new theoretical study Lisman and Zhabotinsky, and reviews Lisman, , ; Lisman and McIntyre, ; Lisman et al. The reviews summarized existing publications, which in general were consistent with the role of the kinase in synaptic memory, but direct proof of the CaMKII-switch was still missing.
This gave rise to a modified theory that the kinase plays a structural role in LTP Otmakhov et al. Again, the crucial observation of the persistence of this binding after LTP induction was missing. The experiment required new skills and new equipment, which we acquired. The new series of experiments produced data consistent with the idea that CaMKII works as a structural seed that initiates and possibly maintains synaptic strength by controlling synaptic growth Otmakhov et al.
Using this inhibitor Lisman's team with collaborators demonstrated results consistent with these predictions Sanhueza et al. Another breakthrough in advancing the CaMKII-switch theory was experimental confirmation from another lab that CaMKII holoenzymes which consist of 10—12 subunits could exchange their subunits in in vitro conditions.
So, John was determined to prove that the subunit exchange could indeed occur in living cells during the maintenance of LTP.
The experiments of Sanhueza Sanhueza et al. To address these issues, we acquired a new technology that could directly measure both CaMKII activity in a single potentiated spine Otmakhov et al. During the past several years, John made heroic efforts to implement this last methodology just with the help of undergraduate students and produced compelling evidence for the role of CaMKII in the maintenance of behavioral memory Rossetti et al.
The molecular mechanisms of this involvement, however, are yet to be clarified. Although, several new studies were consistent with the core idea of Lisman's CaMKII memory switch through its autophosphorylation Pi et al. At his last lab meeting before his death, John suggested a very radical modification of his CaMKII-memory-switch hypothesis, which seemed to reconcile most of the existing conflicting data.
John's optimism, perseverance and unbreakable belief that he was right were unprecedented. He worked tirelessly on implementing new methodologies and skills, often with very limited resources. Shortly before his final days, he was awarded several grants to continue the course of studies, which should finally prove the involvement of CaMKII as a memory storage molecule. In parallel, he worked on a dozen other projects collaborating with numerous labs around the globe.
He was on the phone or exchanging emails at all times of day or night. His optimism and enthusiasm were infectious and radiated confidence and encouragement. Despite this excitement, encouragement and patience, working with John was often quite frustrating. He was extremely biased, always finding reasons why conflicting data were incorrect; therefore, arguing with him was very challenging. Still, John's enthusiasm had been shaking up the neuroscience community for more than 30 years and to some degree shaped the course of research on the molecular memory storage and on many other fields of neuroscience as well.
In alone, he co-authored more than 10 publications. What most impressed me in John's personality was his very sharp, dynamic and unpredictable mind. John could quickly grab a new set of data, dissect them at almost sub-molecular level and reassemble again, producing quite original and unpredictable hypotheses. His sudden passing in October was a shock for many people. For those of us who have worked with John for many years it is still difficult to accept his not being around. In addition to his optimism, John was quite realistic regarding his illness.
Before his final days, he made sure that his research funding was transferred to collaborators and his life-long search for answers to the brain's mysteries continued. I have known John since late Spring of I attended that meeting because my son was a toddler, and I was afraid to stay home alone with him—really! During that trip, I was mostly sitting on the beach under a cabana with our son, and 1 day, I noticed a rather large man lumbering down the beach toward our cabana.
It was John Lisman, heading toward my little blue cabana. I was baffled and honored that he would already know about my work—as the first few papers had barely come out. So, began our ongoing dialog about synapses and dendritic spines. John and I wrote two opinion pieces Lisman and Harris, , They only begin to describe the effects our conversations had on forcing us to think more clearly about the structural findings.
The analysis was incomplete, and I had just 2 h to work before a pedicure appointment. I have been sorry, of course, that I did not share that data immediately, as I am quite sure John would have offered important insights. This story emphasizes not only John's own great contributions to science, but his insatiable appetite for understanding other's work. His daughter Nora, at the celebration of John's life, relates how John would start his day at 1—2 a.
A couple years ago, when John visited Austin, he stayed with Max and me. We too experienced John's awakening—as he began the morning session devouring a stack of papers he had brought with him. By a. There is much to share about John, but one thing that keeps coming to my mind is the many visits with him at the MBL—where he would communicate his enthusiasm and synthesis of the latest literature over breakfast, lunch, and often dinner as well. Natasha and he often welcomed me to their wonderful home at MBL and there too he would invite other scientists to debate and discuss recent work from around the world.
I once asked John how it was that he happily read so much of the scientific literature, every day. I miss you John, but know that you are remembered—I believe it is in the memories of others that we live on as well as through the genes we pass on. John, you have succeeded wonderfully in both—creating our field's wonderful memories and producing such wonderful offspring, both biological and scientific. I too hope there is a consciousness that exists beyond our physical life, but even if not, know that the memories persist.
In the field of learning and memory, John Lisman ranks as one of the most influential thinkers of our era. In addition to his work on the role of CAMKII as a molecular switch mediating long-term synaptic plasticity, John thought deeply about how the nature of plasticity rules influenced the storage and recall of memories. I had the personal pleasure of having many long conversations with John about these issues; some of them were among the most memorable in my scientific career.
I am grateful for the opportunities I had to spend time with John, both professionally and personally. He was a great colleague and friend. I knew John for over 40 years. We first met in Woods Hole when he was working on Limulus photoreceptors and I was working on barnacle photoreceptors. We talked science but we soon became friends. Science always came first because he was a committed scientist. But we also shared other interests that deepened our relationship.
After some years this friendship led to a collaboration with Dan Johnston using imaging to examine dendritic properties in hippocampal neurons—a productive time for all of us. There are two things about John that were outstanding to me. The first was his inclusiveness as a scientist. He always had ideas and he wanted to share them. He would convene impromptu meetings of all sizes to discuss issues often about some aspect of LTP or CaMKII, of course and some of these would lead to collaborations.
In the last few years we worked together trying to understand signaling in dendritic spines using sodium imaging. His ideas continue to inspire my work in this area. The second was his artistic temperament. He liked photography and his website of photo portraits of scientists is famous. His macro images of parts of the brain decorate several laboratories around the country. His everyday activities often had some creative aspect to them that gave flavor to the life around him.
He was a free spirit in the sense that there was no boundary to the kinds of things he would think about. But more than that, he tried and often succeeded in making a contribution to each of these endeavors. William N. John's interests were incredibly broad and he was always willing to engage in friendly, collegial conversation. However, what he appeared to enjoy most was the time spent outside the lab in discussions and debate about his latest projects. My talks with John occurred in the lab, after seminars, at various social events and even on the Memorial Circle tennis courts where there was often more talk about science than tennis.
At lunch, his discussions would continue through scheduled appointments at his lunch table out on the dock of the Captain Kidd. He was a fixture at all of the different weekly neuroscience seminars and often asked the most probing, perceptive questions. John was always very kind and generous with his time. Over the years, I began to rely more and more on John's advice and guidance especially as my scientific interests overlapped more with his.
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I will miss John's enviable ability to cut through the BS to get to the heart of a problem. It is hard to think about the MBL next summer without him. His loss leaves a big hole at the MBL where he will be sorely missed. Miquel Bosch , Ph.
And thinking. At that time his long legs moved fast. As a new postdoc at MIT I was just delighted that the famous John Lisman had called me to come to his lab to discuss my new unpublished results. Yasunori Hayashi told him we had found that spines grew during LTP induction but that postsynaptic densities did not do it in synchrony, but with 1 h delay. I realized he could be discussing results and theories with young students, or postdocs, or famous senior scientists… with the same passion and respect; no distinctions; no hierarchies.
I enjoyed giving him a ride with my car through campus. His long legs were not that fast anymore and barely fit into my small car. But his brain was as fast as usual. I had the pleasure and honor of sparring with John at various SfN meetings over the years; I remember how much he liked our poster on optical quantal analysis with calcium transients and spines the size of two A4 cardboards. When he showed up in the aisles at the SfN meeting, the mean IQ, age and kookiness would increase palpably! A couple of years ago he got a grant to revisit CaMKII in synaptic plasticity using super-resolution microscopy with us in Bordeaux.
Here is to John, chapeau bas! John was ubiquitous in all neurosciences events, which I eagerly attended in my transition from Statistical Physics to Computational Neuroscience. He was hard to miss, being a large man, always inquisitive and smart, but also very affable and soft-spoken. As I knew some people in his lab, I started visiting it even before officially meeting John. Eventually we ended up chatting about science and soon I was working for him in the newly built Volen Center for Complex Systems.
I was very fortunate. The model has attained great recognition and is very influential in the area of brain oscillations, having received empirical support from numerous studies. The genesis of the model was marked with intense discussions with many scientists, later including Ole Jensen and Michael Kahana who helped to further develop and test it. I profoundly admired John's style of doing science, openly discussing ideas, not minding criticism but instead using them to push forward. We were friends and collaborated for more than 20 years.
Visiting John had become for me a vacation routine. Brazilian summer vacations are around January and I would always consider either visiting John in the inhospitable cold winter of Boston or going to a paradisiac beach in the north of Brazil, and often Boston would be the preferred choice. That was what my wife Aline and I did last January We spend almost a month with John working on a brain model for language in collaboration with our friend Boris Katz, from MIT. John being a renaissance man had planned in advance options for entertainment and good food.
That was the last time I saw him in person. After John found out about his illness in April , we were in contact regularly. He would talk very openly about his grave health problems but I never saw him depressed or with low morale. He even had ideas for alternative treatments that he would challenge his doctors with. Most of the time we would talk about science and future plans. He was in the middle of an important referee battle and we had a paper in the making.
He departed too soon and I will miss him dearly. He was a mentor, an inspiration and an extraordinary friend. I am shocked and saddened by John's premature passing. John was a good friend who visited me and the lab on many occasions. Until the very last weeks of his life, we had discussions about place and grid cells, and memory and space, and only weeks before he passed away we planned to meet at the Society for Neuroscience meeting. John was a true scientist.
He asked and discussed until he understood, and new thoughts and questions popped up all the time, when we met or when he slept on it and suddenly woke up with a new idea, running to the computer and writing during very early morning hours.
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John helped us as examiner for several of our students. Discussions could be tough—reaching down to the bottom of the matter—but he was always friendly and there was always a smile. With his original approach, John has left long-lasting traces in the neuroscience community. At that time, I was a freshman Ph. My supervisor, Paul Verschure, introduced me as a technically-skilled student and John had the habit of trusting unknown junior scientists with his mental challenges. It was a perfect bond. He was very curious about a new form of brain code—rate remapping Leutgeb et al.
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Even though he barely knew me, after a 5-min chat he sketched a detailed work plan that turned out to be my first thesis draft. John frequently expressed his curiosity about brain codes: their form, organization, transmission, and transformations. The theta-gamma code Lisman and Idiart, ; Lisman and Jensen, is his most prominent work in neural coding and expresses his view on the organization of neural information in the brain. But, he had other contributions. John was enthusiastic about the role of bursts in signal transmission and form. He produced experimental Erickson et al. Burst coding was, in part, a reason for his interest in rate remapping.
Just before his passing, John was enthusiastic about the role of feedforward inhibition as a high-pass filter in early sensory areas Yu et al. This work was left unreleased and is currently under development by collaborators. Other significant contributions of John were a model of competition as code transformation on canonical cortical circuits de Almeida et al. Joseph Coyle , Eben S. I first got to know John Lisman in The first submission did not receive a fundable priority, principally because of a weakness concerning the basic neurobiology of the hippocampus.
Robbie Green suggested that I contact John, a hippocampal expert, who was located across town at Brandeis. John's initial reaction was that he didn't know anything about schizophrenia and was not interested. However, when he appreciated that he could focus on fundamental aspects of hippocampal physiology on his project, he agreed to participate in the Conte Center proposal, which was ultimately funded for 5 years and re-funded for a second 5-year period.
Soon after the Conte Center was funded, I started to receive calls from schizophrenia experts about John. His early studies focused on dopamine interactions in the hippocampus. In a synthetic review, John and Nonna Otmakhova Lisman and Otmakhova, demonstrated that dopamine reduces the direct perforant pathway cortical input to CA1 but not the CA3 projection.
Collaborating with Margarit Behrens Zhang et al. These effects were not observed in immature rats, mirroring the late developmental vulnerability to the psychotomimetic effects of ketamine in humans. This disinhibition decreases the power of gamma oscillations, causing the cognitive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
This visionary model demonstrated John's incredible ability to synthesize clinical symptoms, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, genetics and neuropharmacology of schizophrenia. A decade later, this paper still stands as an organizing conceptualization of the disorder that continues to receive more than 50 citations per year. It is my privilege to have this opportunity to honor John's life and his scientific contributions. To put it simply, John Lisman has been an intellectual hero of mine and a remarkably important influence on my career and life.
My first introduction to John was through his published work. I distinctly remember, as a first year graduate student, learning about rhythms in the brain from his elegant writing. His ability to articulate and translate his deep insights into accessible concepts has left an indelible impression on me as I was just starting to enter the field. I have never truly developed a deep intuition for how neural oscillations are generated until I was gently but precisely walked through the ideas in one of John's papers. I was hooked. Years later, as a junior faculty member, I had the opportunity of getting to know John personally while developing a scientific collaboration around our shared interests centered on the thalamus and schizophrenia.
I truly cherished our interactions as John challenged me and pushed me to think about the origin of psychosis and the role of distributed cortical and thalamic circuits in the origin of severe mental illness. These exchanges have left a lasting impression and I have come to appreciate the scope and depth of the impact John has generated on countless careers and lives.
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He was remarkably generous with both his time and his ideas. He always took the time to engage key concepts, debate, teach and, most importantly, provide a unique sense of care and authenticity. One singular trait always came through all of our conversations—a fundamental and infectious curiosity for how the brain works. On a personal level, John gave me invaluable advice I carry and apply to this day. He sharpened and shaped my thinking.
He challenged me. His sense of excitement, optimism and irreverent humor was always contagious. I was lucky enough to see him a few weeks prior to his passing at Woods Hole for a day of scientific discussions with friends and colleagues. His energy, commitment, curiosity and drive to understand the human brain was unique and unrelenting. I miss him deeply. Robert P. It is very sad for me to have to write this in the memory of John. He was such a large presence in life—and in my life. I will forever have lasting memories of John.
I got to know John quite well because for many years, he made yearly trips to South Florida in the spring to visit his in-laws. We would always make it a point to meet, either in my lab at Florida Atlantic University FAU or just for lunch, and on a few occasions John gave university-wide seminars. I much looked forward to his visits, for as everyone recognizes, John was a font of knowledge on a wide range of topics, by no means limited to science. And John did not hesitate to express his opinions, particularly on the state of neuroscience and those in the field. Since John was so exacting in his own work, it was natural for him to have the highest expectations and hopes for the field.
I am a member of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at FAU, and a few years ago, we embarked on a review of our program which involved outside consultants. As our Center is an amalgam of various disciplines including basic animal research, modeling and human computational analyses, we needed someone sufficiently adept in each of these areas to serve as a consultant. John was an immediate, consensus candidate. He served in this capacity along with Olaf Sporns of Indiana University.
Their recommendations are still a major guiding force for our program. In John's later years he developed an interest in the thalamus, or specifically nucleus reuniens of the ventral midline thalamus—as an integral part of a circuit underlying schizophrenia. As nucleus reuniens is a main interest of mine, this was always one of our topics on his visits. I was gratified by his interest in my work, but more to the point, was awed by how quickly John came to understand this region of the thalamus and its potential impact on the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia SZ.
In my view, among John's many other accomplishments, his research on thalamocortical circuitry and SZ will lay the groundwork for an eventual full understanding of schizophrenia. I regret that John will not see that day. Obviously, John's passing is a major loss to the field. On a personal level, I have lost a good friend and mentor. I miss you John. His interests were in science and politics, photography and girls, and we shared the ups and downs of our intense lives at Brandeis.
We moved off-campus our second year to live on the second floor of a house on Fuller Street in Waltham with another Brandeisian, Stephen Altman. During our college years John and I had endless conversations about our greatest shared interest: human perception. There was Minsky's exciting work on the perceptron. Arbib's book—Brains, Machines and Mathematics. Information theory. Exciting concepts of cybernetics and automata.
The big question was, how does our brain do it? As undergraduates, we both took a summer job working in the Brandeis physics lab of Edgar Lipworth. It was a great job. Along with work it included seminars. We were paid to learn about atomic beam experiments where time possibly flowed backwards, and quantum physics. During that summer we rented a house in Wellesley with a third housemate. John taught me much about dealing with dishes and cooking. For example, I still put all used dishes and silverware in the sink for later processing, the way he showed me how to do.
My wife now does that too. But there was another trick John showed me that I didn't continue: he put together a big pot full of Crisco that would solidify after use, which also held a stainless-steel fry basket. Almost every day that summer, we would pull off the aluminum foil cover, put that pot on the burner, melt the Crisco, and throw in the frozen French fries.
After Brandeis we went in different directions and maintained our friendship. Around the year , John proposed that we collaborate on writing a paper Graboi and Lisman, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for! We worked so hard on a publication which described a looping, top-down, bottom-up neural processing algorithm which addressed perception. But John ruthlessly would review every word over and over, questioning everything again and again until finally, he was satisfied.
It was an unforgettable experience and high point in my life to work closely with John. In recent years, we continued to visit each other. John especially enjoyed staying in a wonderful posh Inn in Rancho Santa Fe, where we would meet and always spend much time in the hot tub, and go to some nice restaurant. And as always, much of our conversation would turn to the still mysterious question — how does our brain do it?
The last time I saw John he had brought his family to the Rancho Santa Fe Inn for a brief vacation, and in a caravan of two cars we took an all-day trip into the Anza-Borrego desert. On the road back, John was awestruck by the arrangement of countless boulders strewn over the landscape, left in their places by glaciers in the last ice age. Who would have thought that fateful day we first met as roommates at Rosen Hall would lead to a lifetime of shared interest and friendship? Ivan Soltesz , James R. To me, John was a true gentle giant of a scholar in the classic sense, someone who just loved thinking about difficult problems, bouncing ideas around, and enjoying the act of scientific communication itself.
In addition to the numerous dinner conversations, phone calls and Skype sessions that we had together that are unfortunately largely lost to history forever in terms of their content, I treasure the emails in my inbox that I received from John over the course of a decade and a half. Scrolling through these messages reveals a characteristically Lismanesque treasure-trove of ideas, with the topics ranging from the role of mossy cells in sequence recall in , way before the recent resurgence of interest in these cells in terms of cognitive processes , the relationship between gamma oscillations and interneurons , the speed of ripple spread in the hippocampus and the conduction velocity of CA3 collaterals and many others.
But, tellingly, the last email from him on October 7, , less than 2 weeks before his death was about how we could make sure that his theoretical and computational work continues under our joint BRAIN grant in case something happens to him. I joined the Lisman lab as an undergraduate in to work on my honors thesis. At the time I was relatively new to research, I just knew that I was fascinated with neuroscience and eager to work alongside scientists to learn more about the brain. During my first conversation with John he did not discuss any job responsibilities or expectations, he just took me, extremely enthusiastically, into the world of learning and memory and shared his genuine excitement with me.
He posed a question that he thought I could work on—chemical induction of LTP—framing it within the context of current research and sharing with me previous efforts and failures to develop a reliable protocol. At once I felt welcome, challenged, and that I was part of the team.
I felt immense gratitude to John because his attitude left no doubt that I could tackle the problem. I can truly say that despite the fact that I was in the lab for just a short time and only in the very beginning of my journey in research, being part of the Lisman lab was my happiest time in science. I was elated to be doing experiments and absorbing the knowledge though numerous discussions.
Hearing John integrate new data into his world of learning and memory was fascinating. But, perhaps, most importantly, I appreciated being heard — I never expected to be given so much autonomy and so much genuine respect as an undergraduate, and the fact that I was taken seriously and regarded as an equal member of the lab was life-changing for me.
John gave me an opportunity and a push to explore the wonders of neuroscience and to grow as a researcher and a critical thinker. He shaped my way of thinking and I continue feeling his impact to this day. John was a brilliant scientist, but also an amazing human being of a rare kind. I am forever grateful that I had the fortune to have him be part of my life.
He considered each of us as contributors to something greater than any of us; we were all important - we all had a voice in the Lisman lab. Active regard for any substantiated idea encouraged scientific independence and was a salient hallmark of his mentoring. Being an undergraduate neuroscience researcher in the Lisman Lab was my first job and Dr.
Lisman was my first boss. I learned what it means to be a proper scientist from Dr. I was always in awe of how he never lost sight of the big picture and why we study neuroscience—despite the everyday frustrating minutia that comes with research, he would never give up an opportunity to remind us why we are there. He never thought twice about including us undergraduates in the discussion; we would receive frequent emails about talks and presentations, new papers to review, and fresh questions to investigate.
He was remarkable at recognizing talent, promise, and grit, and would challenge us to think critically, engage with the experts, and ultimately grow both individually and as scientists. He was a true mentor in the sense that our successes were his successes. Despite the difference of him having a lifetime of knowledge, he was always confident in our capabilities to fulfill his high expectations.
This confidence created a self-fulfilling prophecy—he believed we could, so we did. I felt like a valued member of the team, and I'm incredibly grateful that I was lucky enough to have Dr. Lisman inspire and mentor me. John Lisman was a passionate scientist with the soul of an artist. He embraced the arts with gusto, appreciating all genres of art: music, theater, painting, and especially photography.
In , when the Volen Center for Complex Systems first opened at Brandeis, he saw a blank canvas and strongly felt that science should also be reflected in art form. He took it upon himself and personally installed beautiful scientific photographs throughout the building. To this day, these photographs remain in the hallways of the Volen Center for all to learn, discuss and enjoy. Another one of his personal projects was photographing his neuroscience colleagues. Traveling the world, he went camera in-hand to be sure to garner photographs of colleagues in the various labs that he visited.
His goal was to capture the joy and excitement of those scientists who shared the love of understanding the brain. There is one particular memory that stands out in my mind while working for John for over 11 years. One day, while cleaning out his home in preparation to be sold, John brought to the lab a shoebox full of old photos and informed me that these were taken when he was the student photographer as an undergraduate at Brandeis.
I could have them if I wanted. No actual work got done that day as I sorted through these amazing photographs of Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. I cannot say for sure that he took all of these amazing pictures, but it was important to protect these photos as part of Brandeis's legacy. I found my way to the University archivist, handed him the shoebox, and explained from whom they came from. The archivist sorted through the photos, and slowly his expression changed from curious to delight and amazement. He concurred that they needed to be archived and sent John a long and grateful thank you letter.
Fast forward, these photos have been reproduced and enlarged and are now proudly displayed in various spaces throughout the university campus. When I see them, I smile. When I think of all of John's contributions to science and the arts, it reminds me how fortunate I have been to be a part of John Lisman's story of life.
Very sad news.