Neuroscience

Programmes

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

We are partnering with the Wellcome Trust to establish this new research centre, where scientists will use state-of-the-art techniques to investigate how circuits in the brain process information to create neural representations and guide behaviour.

Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour

Impressive progress has been made over the last 20 years in understanding the organisation and function of the brain. The challenge now is to understand exactly how the brain’s neural circuits carry out the information processing that directly underlies behaviour. This will require applying new techniques that lie at the interface of a number of traditional scientific disciplines, including computation, physics and chemistry.

We believe this can best be achieved by developing a world-class research centre hosting a diverse group of scientists with a common interest in the workings of the brain. We are partnering with the Wellcome Trust to create the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, which opened at University College London (UCL) in 2016.

The Centre was built on the corner of Howland Street and Charlotte Street by Kier Construction. It was designed by the award-winning firm Ian Ritchie Architects in collaboration with a group of scientific advisors and a team of specialist consultants including Arup to develop the vision of all three stakeholders.

Nobel Laureate Professor John O’Keefe was the Inaugural Director and oversaw the design, construction and delivery of the new building, as well as led the scientific strategy and early recruitment when the centre opened. Professor Thomas Mrsic-Flogel has recently been appointed as the new Director.

Scientists in the SWC use state-of-the-art molecular, cellular, imaging, electrophysiology and behavioural techniques, supported by theoretical modelling, to investigate how circuits in the brain process information to create neural representations and guide behaviour. The new centre forms part of the UCL main campus and complements the current strength of UCL’s neuroscience research community and its relationships with other medical research organisations in the local area.

Research groups

Thomas Mrsic-Flogel

Director

The organisation of circuits for cortical information processing

Troy Margrie

Professor of Systems Neuroscience

The cellular logic of sensory circuits

John O'Keefe

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience

Spatial and ethological memory 

Sonja Hofer

Reader in Neural Circuits and Behaviour (joining in late 2017)

Neural circuits for sensory processing and sensory-guided behaviours 

Tiago Branco

Group Leader

Computation of instinctive decisions

Yoh Isogai

Group Leader

Molecular genetics of behaviour – genes’ perspective of brain function

Adam Kampff

Group Leader

The neural mechanisms of intelligence

Andy Murray

Group Leader

Circuits for sensory-motor transformation