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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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

Weill Neurohub joins with Genentech, Roche to advance neuroscience research

Weill Neurohub joins with Genentech, Roche to advance neuroscience research

Weill Neurohub joins with Genentech, Roche to advance neuroscience research
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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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Where do our minds wander? Brain waves can point the way

Where do our minds wander? Brain waves can point the way

The Knight lab has found that brain waves can show whether a person’s mind is wandering.
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In shaky times, focus on past successes, if overly anxious, depressed

In shaky times, focus on past successes, if overly anxious, depressed

New study from the Bishop lab could have implications for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
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Beyond the lab: PhD alum Antonio Lara builds wearable devices to gain insight into the human brain

Beyond the lab: PhD alum Antonio Lara builds wearable devices to gain insight into the human brain

Read our Q&A with Neuroscience PhD alum Antonio Lara, director of neuroscience at Kernel.
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Neuroscientists tap gamers to learn how people problem-solve

Neuroscientists tap gamers to learn how people problem-solve

HWNI scientist Gautam Agarwal, a Neuroscience PhD alum, developed a game to learn about the brain.
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Get to know incoming HWNI faculty Yvette Fisher and Doris Tsao

Get to know incoming HWNI faculty Yvette Fisher and Doris Tsao

Fisher and Tsao are among the new faculty profiled in this article from the MCB department.
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Neurobiology labs team up to tackle COVID-19

Neurobiology labs team up to tackle COVID-19

HWNI members Brohawn, Bautista, and Adesnik are collaborating to learn more about the virus and find new treatments.
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Recent Faculty Publications

24 Feb 2021
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 2;118(9):e2018513118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2018513118.ABSTRACTReactive oxygen species (ROS) like hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are transient species that have broad actions in signaling and stress,...
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19 Feb 2021
Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 18;11(1):4168. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83585-3.ABSTRACTTo characterize the course of Alzheimer's disease (AD) over a longer time interval, we aimed to construct a disease course model for the entire...
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13 Feb 2021
J Neurosci Methods. 2021 Feb 10:109097. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2021.109097. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND: Domoic acid (DOM) is a neurotoxin produced by some harmful algae blooms in coastal waters. California sea lions...
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12 Feb 2021
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Feb 16;118(7):e2015651118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2015651118.ABSTRACTIn mammals with frontal eyes, optic-nerve fibers from nasal retina project to the contralateral hemisphere of the brain, and...
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11 Feb 2021
J Neurosci. 2021 Feb 10;41(6):1130-1141. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1786-20.2020.ABSTRACTResting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) reveals brain dynamics in a task-unconstrained environment as subjects let their minds wander freely. Consequently, resting subjects navigate a rich space...
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