Peter L. Strick, PhD

Peter L. Strick came to the University of Pittsburgh in 2000 to become Co-Director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition and Professor in the Departments of Neurobiology, Neurological Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Psychiatry. In 2007, Strick became the founding Director of the Systems Neuroscience Institute at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 2009, he was appointed to an Endowed Chair in Systems Neuroscience. In 2012, he was appointed the Thomas Detre Professor and Chair, Department of Neurobiology, and Co-Director for the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh. He also is the founding Scientific Director of the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute (2014- ).

Strick's research focuses on four major areas: the generation and control of voluntary movement by the motor areas of the cerebral cortex; the motor and cognitive functions of the basal ganglia and cerebellum; the neural basis for the mind-body connection; and unraveling the complex neural networks that comprise the central nervous system. 

Strick is a member of the American Association of Anatomists, the Cajal Club, Society for Neuroscience, American Physiological Society and American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected Fellow, 1999). He co-founded the Neural Control of Movement Society (1990) and served as its Conference Co-Chair, Program Chair (1990-2007) and President (2007-2010). He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004) and to the National Academy of Sciences (2012).

Strick has served on many national and international committees. He was elected Scientific Councilor (1996-2000) and Treasurer (1998-2000) of the Society for Neuroscience. He was selected as Section Editor (1986-1995) and then Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurophysiology (1995-2002), and he currently serves as a Senior Editor of Cerebral Cortex(2003- ). Strick's many awards include the C.J. Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists (1979); Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from NIH-NINDS (1986); Established Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (1995-1996); President's Award for Excellence and Leadership in Research, SUNY-Upstate Medical Center (1996); Senior Research Career Scientist Award from the Veterans Administration (awarded every seven years since 1987); University Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology (2011); the Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award, Senior Scholar (2013); the American Psychosomatic Society’s Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Research in Psychosomatic Medicine (2018); and the Krieg Cortical Kudos Discoverer Award (2019).

He received his BA (Biology, 1968) and PhD (Anatomy, 1972) from the University of Pennsylvania. Strick was a Staff Fellow in Edward V. Evarts’ Laboratory of Neurophysiology at the National Institute of Mental Health (1972-1976). In 1976, he moved to the VA Medical Center at Syracuse, New York, and became an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Physiology, SUNY-Upstate Medical Center.  Strick was promoted to Associate Professor in 1979 and Full Professor in 1982. In 1988, Strick was appointed to the George W. Perkins III Memorial Professorship in Neurosurgery. He was Acting President of the Central New York Research Corporation (1994-1996) and Interim Director of the Neuroscience Program at SUNY-Upstate (1997- 1998). Strick was born on August 10, 1946, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.