Smart pills
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Chasing memory

Smart pills
Gary Rogers, a chemist then at UC Santa Barbara, worked with Lynch to invent a class of drugs called ampakines – cognitive enhancers intended to improve memory and other brain functions. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Exhibit A
Slices of rats’ brains, thought to hold clues to the human mechanism for memory. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Gary Lynch “can access lateral information that most people can’t,” says Christine Gall, another UC Irvine neuroscientist. “To have that available to inform you, to make the next cognitive leap — that’s his strength.” (Mark Boster / LAT)
Key player
Postdoc neurophysiologist Eniko Kramar was charged with running the crucial experiment on rat brains that Gary Lynch expected to prove his basic theory of memory encoding. She became a virtual scientific monk in Lynch’s lab, and her strengths as a technically minded bench scientist complemented his ability to synthesize information. (Mark Boster / LAT)
Man behind the lab
An often-polarizing figure in the field of neuroscience, UC Irvine’s Gary Lynch has a reputation for being pugnacious — and for proving uncannily right about a lot of things over a very long time. (Mark Boster / LAT)