Michael Fanselow, distinguished professor of psychology, is the 2023 recipient of the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contribution, which honors psychologists for their contributions to basic research in psychology. The award is the organization’s highest honor.

His behavioral neuroscience research has focused on understanding how fear is learned and how fear memories are stored in the brain. Fanselow’s lab uses biological and chemical tools to identify specific components and circuits the brain involves in creating fear memories and fear-motivated behavior.  

Fanselow has been a past recipient of the Early Career Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award and the D.O. Hebb Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and the Troland Award from the National Academy of Science. He is the Staglin family professor of psychology and director of the Staglin Music Festival Center for Brain and Behavioral Health at UCLA.