Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC professor celebrates authoring ‘tour of the human brain’
The seventh edition of “Neuroscience” introduces undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to the field.
It’s been more than 25 years since Anthony-Samuel LaMantia was part of a team that authored a landmark textbook advancing the field of neuroscience. Not only was it a seminal work in the field, it remains a bestseller today. One reviewer wrote that “it’s more than a book — it’s a state-of-the-art tour into the human brain.”
Now LaMantia and two fellow “legacy” editors are ready to celebrate the seventh edition of the original “Neuroscience” textbook, which is scheduled for release by Oxford University Press in March. The book is designed to introduce undergraduate, graduate, and medical students to the field.
“The book was based on a new neuroscience course for Duke University medical students that David Fitzpatrick and I organized in 1992. It was taught collectively by the entire faculty of the department, and the syllabus chapters for the course became the basis of the first edition,” said LaMantia, who is a professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and director of its Center for Neurobiology Research. Fitzpatrick is now CEO and scientific director of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience.
LaMantia joined Duke University’s Department of Neurobiology the same year that Dale Purves came to Duke Medical Center as the department’s founding director. Purves, now editor emeritus, was the lead editor on the textbook for the first six editions.
The first edition was published in 1996. LaMantia is the sole author of seven of the 33 current chapters and the original author on five additional chapters. He has been a senior editor since its original publication. Other authors for the seventh edition include George J. Augustine, a professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Jennifer M. Groh, Scott A. Huettel, and Leonard E. White, all with Duke University.
Michael Friedlander, executive director of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and Virginia Tech’s vice president for health sciences and technology, recruited LaMantia to Virginia Tech. “When we were working to bring Dr. LaMantia to Roanoke, we knew we would benefit from his substantial research acumen and innovation, but we also were excited to have him bring his editorial and writing record and expertise.”
“At the time he relocated to Roanoke from Washington, D.C., I was unaware of his plans for the next edition of his textbook,” Friedlander said. “I can say without any hesitation, its release is a big plus, not only for the global neuroscience community, but also for the research institute and Virginia Tech at large. We are very fortunate and proud to have Dr. LaMantia as part of our community as his work adds substantially to branding Virginia Tech as a leading destination for neuroscience.”
LaMantia also included Michael Fox, a professor at Fralin Biomedical Research Institute and director of the School of Neuroscience within the College of Science, to help update the textbook’s material on the visual system. Fox studies how the brain decodes visual stimuli and in particular how synapses form between retinal ganglion cell growth and their destinations deep in the brain.
In his laboratory, LaMantia examines genetic and cellular mechanisms of neural circuit development in specific parts of the brain. His focus is on uncovering early causes of developmental disorders in children, including autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and a complex collection of disorders. He also holds an appointment at the Virginia Tech-Carilion School of Medicine and is a professor of biological sciences at Virginia Tech.