Sanford L. Palay was the Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Comparative Neurology from 1980-1993. He was a Professor of Anatomy at Harvard Medical School and then Professor Emeritus during that tenure. Dr. Palay was one of the earliest scientists to turn electron microscopy onto the nervous system, and in 1954 with George Palade provided the first descriptions of vertebrate synapses at the EM level. Dr. Palay did groundbreaking studies on the fine structure of the cerebellum, and co-authored with Alan Peters and Henry deForest Webster the classic text, The Fine Structure of the Nervous System. The Palay Award is given in even-numbered years to a neuroscientist for outstanding contributions in structure of the nervous system. Previous winners have included: Prof. Peter Somogyi (2004) Alan Peters (2006) Tomas Hökfelt and Kjell Fuxe (2008).
Peter was also named recently Honorary Guest Professor at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.