CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
UI's Gormezano awarded Spence Professorship in Psychology
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Isidore Gormezano, professor of psychology in the
University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and an internationally known
expert for his work in learning and memory mechanisms, has been awarded
the Kenneth W. Spence Professorship in Psychology.
The professorship is named for one of the university's preeminent researchers
and is bestowed upon the most outstanding researchers. Gormezano, who
retired from full-time teaching last month, has spent more than 37 years
using an animal model he developed to study the basic principles of learning
and memory, their basis of change in the nervous system and the effects
of drugs, including such abused drugs as cocaine, morphine and LSD. In
addition, he conducted his work in the largest laboratory of its kind with
equipment he designed and built. Gormezano's methods have been re-created
in more than 50 laboratories in the United States, Canada, China, Korea,
Australia and England.
Gormezano came to the UI in 1966 after earning his doctorate from the
University of Wisconsin in 1958 and beginning his academic career at Indiana
University. He is a member of numerous professional organizations and
has received several awards for his research, including the prestigious
1994 Howard Crosby Warren Medal for Distinguished Contributions to Experimental
Psychology from the Society of Experimental Psychologists. The only other
Warren Medal recipient from the UI was 1953 winner Kenneth Spence.
"Professor Gormezano has made fundamental long-term contributions
to experimental methods and our understanding of learning, particularly
classical conditioning," says Michael O'Hara, professor and chair
of the department of psychology. "Also, throughout his career he
has been a dynamic teacher of undergraduate and graduate students, interested
as much in the general education of students as their education in psychology.
He has been a credit to the department of psychology, the university,
and the discipline."
Gormezano, who has published more than 140 journal articles, has also
received the Pavlovian Investigator Award from The Pavlovian Society for
Distinguished Research Achievements. His research has been funded almost
continuously throughout his career by agencies including the National Science
Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute
on Drug Abuse, as well as private contributions to the UI Foundation.
Gormezano has supervised 20 postdoctoral appointees and 21 doctoral
dissertations, and many of his postdoctoral and doctoral students have
gone on to make major contributions to the profession. He has held numerous
visiting professorships, including the post of Distinguished Visiting Professor
at the University of Western Australia in 1975. He is a Fellow of the
American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society,
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the International
Behavioral Neuroscience Society.