The Helen Wills
Neuroscience Institute

Deepening our understanding of the brain and the rest of the nervous system through original research and neurotechnology innovation, and training the next generation of neuroscientists.

The Helen Wills
Neuroscience Institute

Deepening our understanding of the brain and the rest of the nervous system through original research and neurotechnology innovation, and training the next generation of neuroscientists.

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PhD Program
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An image of dendritic spines on neurons in the mouse cortex, produced using new microscopy technology developed by HWNI member Eric Betzig.   

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Neuroscience

The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute (HWNI) is the nexus for campus-wide multidisciplinary neuroscience research at UC Berkeley. Our community includes over 70 faculty members in 12 academic departments. This unique cross-departmental structure brings together experts from a variety of fields to use the power of interdisciplinary research to achieve breakthroughs in the study of the brain and nervous system, and to drive the development of novel treatments and technologies. 

We support our faculty and their labs in their individual research aims, and foster opportunities for collaboration. We also sponsor major research initiatives, run five innovative neurotechnology and research centers, and train the next generation of neuroscientists through our Neuroscience PhD Program and the training of postdoctoral fellows who conduct research in HWNI faculty labs. We also have over 100 PhD Program alumni who work in a variety of careers across the globe.

Latest News

David Schaffer harnesses ‘directed evolution’ for gene therapy

David Schaffer harnesses ‘directed evolution’ for gene therapy

This profile of HWNI member David Schaffer focuses on how he uses engineering to improve gene therapy.
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Cooper receives NSF Faculty Early Career Development Grant

Cooper receives NSF Faculty Early Career Development Grant

Congratulations to Emily Cooper! The five-year grant will fund her project called “Smartglasses for All”.
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Puthussery awarded Glaucoma Research Foundation grant

Puthussery awarded Glaucoma Research Foundation grant

Congratulations to Teresa Puthussery, who will study retinal cell loss in tissue from glaucoma patients.
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Gomez wins C.J. Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy

Gomez wins C.J. Herrick Award in Neuroanatomy

Congratulations to Andrea Gomez for winning the C.J. Herrick Award from the American Association for Anatomy!
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Westheimer awarded Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science

Westheimer awarded Ken Nakayama Medal for Excellence in Vision Science

Congratulations to Gerald Westheimer for receiving this award honoring his lasting contributions to vision science!
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Weill Neurohub partners with Genentech, Roche

Weill Neurohub partners with Genentech, Roche

Weill Neurohub joins with Genentech, Roche to advance neuroscience research
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Collins wins Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society

Collins wins Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society

Congratulations to Anne Collins! Read this interview with her from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society.
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Picking brains: Neuroscience PhD students launch website to profile faculty

Picking brains: Neuroscience PhD students launch website to profile faculty

Read “unofficial bios” of some of our faculty, in a new project developed by our students!
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Recent Faculty Publications

19 Mar 2021
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 Mar 15:S0149-7634(21)00128-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.02.046. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTExtensive neuroanatomical connectivity between the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and hippocampus and neocortex renders them well-placed for a role...
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18 Mar 2021
J Neurosci. 2021 Mar 16:JN-RM-2504-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2504-20.2021. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTTau deposition begins in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD), and MTL neural dysfunction is...
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15 Mar 2021
J Vis Exp. 2021 Feb 24;(168). doi: 10.3791/61937.ABSTRACTThe relative positioning of cells is a key feature of the microenvironment that organizes cell-cell interactions. To study the interactions between cells of...
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15 Mar 2021
J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2021 Mar 10:1932296821994825. doi: 10.1177/1932296821994825. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND: Blood glucose and insulin exhibit coordinated daily and hourly rhythms in people without diabetes (nonT1D). Although the...
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11 Mar 2021
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Mar 10:271678X211001216. doi: 10.1177/0271678X211001216. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTWe used 18F-FDG-PET to investigate the frequency of crossed cerebellar diaschisis (CCD) in 197 patients with various...
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