Ann Graybiel studies the neurophysiology of the basal ganglia, a brain region that is implicated in the control of movement and cognition, as well as in our ability to learn habits. Disorders in this region have been implicated in Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, and in neuropsychiatric disorders such as Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and also addiction.
Graybiel joined the MIT faculty in 1973 and in 1994 was named Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. In 2001, she was appointed Investigator at the McGovern Institute. She received her Ph.D. in 1971 from MIT. Graybiel is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Graybiel was named a recipient of the 2001 National Medal of Science, the nation's highest science and technology honor. She received MIT's James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award in 2002, and in 2008 was named Institute Professor, the highest academic award at MIT.
In 2002, Ann was awarded the James R. Killian Faculty Achievement Award which recognizes extraordinary professional accomplishment by full-time members of the MIT faculty.
In 2004, Graybiel received the Woman Leader of Parkinsonís Science award from the Parkinsonís Disease Foundation, and in 2006, she was named the Harold S. Diamond Professor by the National Parkinson Foundation in recognition of her contributions to the understanding and treatment of Parkinsonís Disease.