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FOND MEMORIES PROMPT FORESIGHT Generations of Berkeley students recall the animated anatomy lectures by Professor Marian Diamond ’48, M.A. ’49, Ph.D. ’53, during which she filled multiple chalkboards with colorful drawings or hoisted a human brain from a hatbox. Ron Hammer ’74 remembers instead how she sparked his enduring interest in neurobiology and mentored him as a student researcher in her lab. Now Hammer has generously returned the favor by extending Diamond’s academic legacy. A professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine, Hammer and his spouse, geriatric neuropsychiatrist Sandra Jacobson, recently established an endowed fund for the Marian C. Diamond and Arnold B. Scheibel Chair in Neuroscience. The faculty position jointly

Photo: Elena Zhukova

honors Diamond and her husband, a neuroscientist at UCLA, where Hammer

changes in brain structure, including a

earned his Ph.D. in anatomy.

thicker cortex and longer, more numerous dendrites, the extensions of a neuron that

“Marian and Arnie have meant a great

receive electrochemical signals.

deal to me, inspiring my career as a scientist. For years, I have wanted to offer

Having enriched the intellectual

them a lasting tribute,” says Hammer.

environments for so many students, Professors Diamond and Scheibel can

Retired since 2014, Diamond has devoted

continue to encourage future brain

60 years to probing the mysteries of the

scientists through this eponymous

human brain, which she describes as

endowment, which marks one of the

“the most magnificent structure” in a

first major gifts to Berkeley’s ambitious,

recent documentary about her. Diamond

interdisciplinary initiative to drive discovery

demonstrated experimentally that an

around fundamental understanding of the human brain and mind. ■

enriched environment causes measurable


Promise of Berkeley Winter 2017  

Promise of Berkeley magazine winter 2017

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