She received MS degree from the Warsaw University and the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. After receiving a Ph.D. in Behavioral Physiology from Copenhagen University, she moved to the US and established a longstanding NIH funded research program in visual and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Rochester. In recent years, her research program was focused on cortical circuits underlying visual perception and working memory in the primate brain.
Dr. Pasternak was a tenured Professor of Neuroscience at Rochester, when she decided to change careers and joined the Review Branch at NINDS. Throughout her academic career, she has participated in the NIH and NSF peer review system, serving as a permanent member on several NIH study sections as well as on many other review panels. Recently, she has also served on the Board of Scientific Councilors at NIMH, contributing to the review of its intramural programs. Over the years, Dr. Pasternak has played leadership roles in major professional societies, has served on several editorial boards and has organized many interdisciplinary neuroscience conferences. As one of the founding members of the Vision Science Society, Dr. Pasternak has served for many years on its Board of Directors and for two years as its President. She has also been actively involved in the activities of the Society for Neuroscience, having served on several of its standing committees and on Council as its elected Secretary.
At NINDS, Dr. Pasternak is looking forward to the opportunity to use her qualifications and experience to contribute to the neuroscience community in this new role and help facilitate the much-needed integration of higher-level cognition with new advances in large scale neuroscience.