Mark Bear

Mark Bear


Photo credit: David Sella

Mark F. Bear, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Mark Bear is the Picower Professor of Neuroscience in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1994 to 2015, and served as Director of the Picower Institute from 2007 to 2009. Prior to moving to MIT in 2003, Dr. Bear was the Sidney A. and Dorothy Doctors Fox Professor at Brown University School of Medicine for 17 years. After receiving his B.S. degree from Duke University, he earned his Ph.D. degree in neurobiology at Brown. He took postdoctoral training from Wolf Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and from Leon Cooper at Brown. His long-standing scientific interest is in how the brain is modified by experience, and his lab is currently focused on applying knowledge of the elementary mechanisms of synaptic plasticity to overcome genetic or environmental adversity. Professor Bear has a deep commitment to mentorship of PhD students and postdocs. At MIT, he currently serves as the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department Faculty Postdoctoral Officer and as a member of the Junior Faculty Mentorship Committee. He is also a member of the MIT Faculty Postdoc Advisory Committee. Professor Bear has proudly mentored over 20 predoctoral and 25 postdoctoral trainees, and many of them are now distinguished independent investigators.


Ph.D. degree, Brown University, 1984

B.Sc. degree, Duke University, 1979

Professional Positions

Picower Professor of Neuroscience, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003 - Present

Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1999 - 2015

Director, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, MIT, 2007-2009

Sidney and Dorothy Doctors Fox Professor of Visual Neuroscience, Brown University Medical School, 1996-2003

Associate Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 1994-1999

Professor of Neuroscience, Brown University Medical School, 1995-2003

Associate Professor with tenure, Brown University Medical School, 1991-1995

Assistant Professor (tenure track), Brown University Medical School, 1986-1991

Research Assistant Professor, Brown Center for Neural Science, 1985-1986

Max-Planck Fellow with Wolf Singer, Frankfurt, 1984-1985

Significant Memberships

Member, National Academy of Medicine, 2022 - Present

Elected Fellow, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 2005

Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2004

Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003

Elected Fellow, Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, 1999

Elected Fellow, The Neurosciences Institute, La Jolla, California, 1999

Member, Dana Alliance for Brain Research Executive Committee, 2010 - Present

Member, Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, 2009 - Present

Board of Reviewing Editors, Science, 2011-2014

Jury Member, Society for Neuroscience Julius Axelrod Prize, 2009-2011

Jury Member, Antonio Champalimaud Foundation Vision Award, 2007-

Scientific Advisory Board, Brain Research New Zealand, 2015-

Scientific Advisory Board, BioAxone Biosciences, Inc., 2015-

Scientific Advisory Board, Sage Therapeutics, Inc., 2013-2015

Scientific Advisory Board, Mnemosyne Pharmaceutics, Inc., 2011-

Scientific Advisory Board, SynapDx Corp., 2011-

Scientific Advisory Committee, Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Johns Hopkins University, 2011- Present

Scientific Advisory Board, FRAXA Research Foundation, 2009 - Present

Scientific Advisory Panel, Neuroscience Therapeutic Area, Pfizer, Inc, 2008-2010, 2014-

Scientific Advisory Board, The Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, Broad Institute, MIT, 2007 - Present

Scientific Advisory Board, Seaside Therapeutics, Inc, 2005 - Present


Beckman-Argyros Vision Award 2018

IPSEN Foundation Neuroscience Prize 2015

Ray Fuller Award, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 2012

Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Study of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors, 7th International mGluR Meeting, Taormina, Italy, 2011

Pioneer Award, FRAXA Research Foundation, 2011

William and Enid Rosen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Understanding Fragile X Syndrome, National Fragile X Foundation, 2006

Brown University Elizabeth H. Leduc Award for Teaching Excellence, 2000

Brown University Class of 2000 Barrett Hazeltine Citation for Teaching Excellence

Fogarty Senior International Fellowship, 1993

Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award, 1993

United States Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, 1988

Alfred P. Sloan Award, 1987