Dr. Mark Rasenick, Distinguished UIC Professor and Associate Director of the University of Illinois Center on Depression & Resilience (UICDR), was installed as a member of the National Academy of Science of Cuba. This prestigious award was bestowed in recognition of Dr. Rasenick’s work over more than 2 decades during which he and his Cuban colleagues have developed an expansive network of neuroscience collaboration between Cuba and the US.
At a ceremony taking place last December, Dr. Luis Velázquez, president of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba cited Dr. Rasenick for his contributions in the area of neuroscience, specifically in the field of Psychiatry, and diseases that occur around depression.
Dr. Rasenick’s innovative research focuses on the molecular processes that underlie depression and contribute to antidepressant efficacy, with particular emphasis on the role of G-proteins and membrane microdomains.
Dr. Rasenick studies how several medicines act at the neuron or glial cell and with that knowledge he has pursued the development of new drugs that modify G protein signaling for a much earlier treatment for depression. He has also harnessed these discoveries to predict antidepressant response in days rather than weeks and to create a platform promising personalized treatment for depression.
As a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, Dr. Rasenick has frequently visited Cuba as part of a delegation to advance scientific cooperation by Cuban and U.S. scientists. Forging more frequent and in-depth scientific dialogue, that would help to accelerate the open scientific exchange to benefit the science communities, particularly the neuroscience communities, in both nations.
With this honor Dr. Rasenick, joins elite company. The only other American biomedical scientist to have been made a member of the Academy was Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Peter Agre.