Ralph Waldo Gerard LLD DLitt (7 October 1900 – 17 February 1974) was an American neurophysiologist and behavioral scientist known for his wide-ranging work on the nervous system, nerve metabolism, psychopharmacology, and biological basis of schizophrenia. Contents 1 Biography 2 Literature 2.1 Literature about Ralph W. Gerard 3 References 4 External links Biography Gerard was born in Harvey, Illinois. He was an uncommon intellectual and was encouraged in science by his father Maurice Gerard, who received an engineering degree in England, then moved to America to work as an engineering consultant. Maurice encouraged Ralph in mathematics and chess. In his teens, Ralph beat the American chess champion playing simultaneous matches in Chicago. He completed high school in two years and entered the University of Chicago at age fifteen. Ralph was a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity. In Chicago, Gerard studied chemistry and physiology. In chemistry, he was influenced by Julius Stieglitz and in physiology and neurophysiology he was influenced by Anton Carlson and Ralph Lillie. He received his B.S. degree in 1919, and a doctorate in physiology in 1921 at the University of Chicago. Shortly thereafter he married the psychiatrist Margaret Wilson, who had just completed her doctorate in neuroanatomy. She became an outstanding practitioner of child psychiatry until her death in 1954. Gerard started as professor of physiology at the University of South Dakota, but returned to the Rush Medical College to finish his medical training where he received his M.D. degree in 1925. Afterwards he went to Europe on a National Research Council Fellowship for two years to work in biophysics and biochemistry with A. V. Hill in London and Otto Meyerhof in Kiel. He returned to the University of Chicago in 1928 where he worked in the Department of Physiology until 1952. For two years he was professor of neurophysiology and physiology in the College of Medicine, at the University of Illinois. During the Second World War he was seconded to do classified research at the Edgewood Arsenal. In 1954 Gerard was Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford California. In January 1955 he married Leona Bachrach Chalkley, whom he had known since high school. They moved to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he helped to establish the Mental Health Research Institute. In the next years, the institute grew to be one of the outstanding behavioral and psychiatric research centers of the nation. In the last phase of his active career he concentrated on education. He helped to organize the newly forming Irvine campus of the University of California, and became the first Dean of its Graduate Division until his retirement in 1970. Even in this phase Gerard did not abandon his love of the neurosciences; he initiated the activities, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, which led to the founding of the highly successful Society for Neuroscience. He was made Honorary President of this Society. At age seventy he retired, thence dedicating his time to civil affairs. Gerard received many honors, including a medal from Charles University in Prague, the Order of the White Lion (4th class) of Czechoslovakia, honorary membership in the American Psychiatric Association and the Pan Hellenic Medical Association; membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences; a D.Sc. from the University of Maryland in 1952; and an honorary M.D. from the University of Leiden in 1962, at the time of the XXII international Congress of Physiological Sciences. The Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience honors an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to neuroscience throughout his or her career.