Thomas A. Ban: A brief historical Exchange between Larry Stein and Joseph Knoll 

Hector Warnes’ comment



        Professor Thomas Ban, himself a pioneer of neuropharmacological research, has contributed abundantly to neurosciences via reflexology and neuropharmacology. Since his retirement from Vanderbilt University he has dedicated time to rescue information on the history of neuropharmacology and the mechanism of action of the most important psychopharmacological agent since the decade of the ‘50s. He has invited from all over the world colleagues in the field of the neurosciences to participate in this revival of the discipline since its inception. I wish Professor Ban would write his own autobiography.

        For those who did not know Larry Stein, Professor Ban presented a masterful interview of him by Arvid Carlson in his eulogy "In celebration of Larry Stein (1931-2019)" which appeared on the INHN website (2019). At the time of his demise Larry Stein was Professor Emeritus, University of California at Irvine. He was considered a pioneer in neuropharmacology, a neurobiologist and neuroscientist with significant contributions in basic science.

        From the outset, I must confess that Larry Stein’s comments on Joseph Knoll’s research career were fascinating in its scope and provided insight into the biological basis of Knoll’s great contributions and the historical perspective of the times. One is drawn in his writing to sense of the Zeitgeist of great Hungarians, many escaping from the Nazi just before the Holocaust. Stein’s mind has a unique creative ability himself. He cited a book which I am eager to read, István Hargittai’s 2006 Martians of Science, as well as a paper by Iván Soltesz, “The Brain Prize 2011: From Microcircuit Organization to Constellations of Brain Rhythms.”

        I am sorry that two giants of the neurosciences are no longer with us.



Ban, TA. In Celebration of Larry Stein (1931 – 2019). October 19, 2019.

Hargittai I. Martians of Science. Five Physicists Who Changed the Twentieth Century. Oxford University Press. 2006.

Soltesz I. The Brain Prize 2011: From Microcircuit Organization to Constellations of Brain Rhythms. Trends Neurosci. 2011; 34(10):501-3.


April 2, 2020