Marder received her Ph.D. from UCSD (1974) and did postdoctoral work at the Ecole Normale Superieure (Paris). She is the Beinfield Professor of Neuroscience and Head of the Division of Science at Brandeis University. Marder is Past-President of the Society for Neuroscience. Her honors include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the Salpeter Award from WIN, the Gerard Prize from the SfN, the George A. Miller Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the Karl Spenser Lashley Prize from the American Philosophical Society, an Honorary Doctorate from Bowdoin College, and the 2013 Gruber Prize in Neuroscience. She serves on the NIH Director’s BRAIN Working Group.
Marder studies the dynamics of small neural circuits was instrumental in demonstrating that neuronal circuits are not “hard-wired” but can be reconfigured by neuromodulatory neurons and substances. Her lab pioneered studies of homeostatic regulation of intrinsic membrane properties, and stimulated work on the mechanisms by which brains remain stable while allowing for change during development and learning. Marder now studies how similar network performance can arise from different sets of underlying network parameters, opening up rigorous studies of the variations in individual brains of normal healthy animals.