Eric Kandel

Photo from the Nobel foundation archive

Date of birth: 7 November, 1929. Vienna, Austria.

Nobel Prize awardee in Physiology or Medicine 2000.

Prize motivation: “for their discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system.”


Eric Kandel lived in Vienna since his birth until 1939, when his family had to immigrate to New York to escape the Nazi regime. He studied History in the University of Harvard, and after that, he became interested in psychoanalysis, learning and memory.
To obtain the knowledge of the biological basis of the mind, he worked on his doctorate at the medical school in the New York University. He continued his education on neurophysiology and psychiatry in Massachusetts, Harvard University and Paris.
In 1965, he was named director of the Neurobiology Center in Columbia University, where he is also a professor since 1974.
Erik Kandel is married to Denise Bystryn.


Eric Kandel studied how memory and learning processes happen in the molecular level. In 1970, at New York University, he performed a extensive research in a sea snail, Aplysia. He observed the particular chemical changes in the structure of connections between cells, the synapses. And he also differentiated, STM and LTM, because different events happened inside the cell in those two kinds of memory.

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