Born 27 June 1948 in the United Kingdom, received his BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and his D.Phil from Sussex University. He is Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Associate of the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante.

Honors and Awards

  • 1991 Segerfalk Lecture, Lund, Sweden
  • 1996 Swammerdam Lecturer, Netherlands Royal Academy, Amsterdam
  • 1997 Fellow, Royal Society of London
  • 1998 Feigen Lecture, Stanford University, Palo Alto
  • 1999 Zotterman Lecture, Swedish Physiological Society, Stockholm
  • 2004 Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • 2007 Santiago-Grisolia Award, Valencia, Spain
  • 2007 Foreign Associate, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Trondheim
  • 2007 Commander of the British Empire, London
  • 2006 Feldberg Prize, Germany
  • 2009 Presidential Lecture, Society for Neuroscience, Chicago
  • 2013 Fondation IPSEN Neuronal Plasticity Prize, Lyon, France
  • 2014 Royal Medal, Royal Society of Edinburgh, UK

Research Interest

My longstanding interest is the neurobiology of learning and memory. This work focuses on the role of activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in memory formation and consolidation. It has involved the development of novel behavioural tasks (including the watermaze and the event arena) and joint theoretical ideas such as the concept of synaptic tagging and capture. Current projects include optogenetic investigation of neuromodulation of cellular memory consolidation, and the role of prior knowledge, particularly ‘schemas’, in systems memory consolidation. One group in the lab is investigating the relevance of these ideas with respect to memory enhancement and the development of novel therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Nils Axelsen Ralf Hemmingsen Lauritz Holm-Nielsen Ralf Hemmingsen Jens Oddershede Jens Frederik Rehfeld Anders Björklund