May 26, 2008
Eric Kandel in Vienna
Nobel laureate attends film premiere at the end of May
Eric Kandel, Nobel laureate for Medicine 2000 and member of the Board of Trustees of IST Austria, will be in Vienna from May 26 to May 29 for the world premiere of the film “In Search of Memory” by director Petra Seeger. Kandel will attend a number of public events; he will come to the Campus of I.S.T. Austria in Klosterneuburg, visit the premiere on May 26 together with the Austrian president, Heinz Fischer, at the Readiokulturhaus in Vienna, will tell 100 Viennese kids about his life and his work at the Kindermuseum Zoom, take questions from the audience at the public premiere on May 27 at the Votivkino and give a public lecture at the Vienna Town Hall on May 28 togehther with Anton Zeilinger – as well a member of the Board of Trustees of IST Austria. On the same evening an abridged version of the film is broadcasted on ORF 2 at 22.30 as a part of the series “Menschen und Mächte Spezial”, followed by a Club 2 with Eric Kandel.
This film accompanies Eric Kandel, one of the most significant brain researchers of our time who devotes himself to researching memory, on a fascinating journey through his own memories. The most important impressions for his life and his work are from his childhood. As a nine-year old Viennese Jew, Kandel fled from the Nazis to the USA (see biography).
For over fifty years, Kandel has devoted himself to deciphering molecular processes in the brain, on which our memory is based. In June 2000 Kandel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for the discovery of a protein which plays the key role in storing events from the short-term memory into the long-term memory – a process which is essential for learning and remembering. Kandel has examined how processes in the mind produce biological changes, and has proved that the fact of learning changes neural circuits and that knowledge effects an anatomical change in the brain. For the first time, film director Petra Seeger, in close cooperation with Eric Kandel, has been able to film in his laboratory for brain research, the world’s leading institution of this kind. Images unique up-to-now from Kandel’s laboratory show how the brain changes as a new memory forms.