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Albany Medical College's 176th Commencement Ceremonies

Keynote Speaker

Solomon H. Snyder, M.D.
This year’s keynote speaker, Solomon Snyder, M.D., was one of the first to identify neurochemical receptors in the brain that control and manage pleasure and pain perceptions. He also identified opiate receptors, which are the targets of morphine and codeine, as well as heroin and other drugs of abuse. The application of Dr. Snyder's techniques has enhanced the development of new agents in the pharmaceutical industry by enabling rapid screening of large numbers of candidate drugs.

Born in Washington, D.C. in December 1938, Dr. Snyder received his undergraduate and medical training at Georgetown University (MD 1962); Research Associate training with Julius Axelrod at the NIH (1963-1965); and  psychiatric training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (1965-1968). In 1966 he joined the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Asst Professor Pharmacology, 1966-1968; Associate Professor Pharmacology/Psychiatry (1968-1970); Professor (1970). In 1980 he established the Department of Neuroscience and served as Director (1980-2006). He is presently Distinguished Service Professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Psychiatry. 

Dr. Snyder is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Biomedical Research (1978), the National Medal of Science (2005); the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2007), Honorary Doctor of Science degrees from Northwestern University (1981), Georgetown University (1986), Ben Gurion University (1990), Albany Medical College (1998), Technion University of Israel (2002), Mount Sinai Medical School (2004), University of Maryland (2006), Charles University, Prague (2009); the Wolf Foundation Prize in Medicine (1983), the Dickson Prize of the University of Pittsburgh (1983), the Bower Award of the Franklin Institute (1991), the Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Distinguished Achievement in Neuroscience Research (1996) and the Gerard Prize of the Society for Neuroscience (2000). He is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.