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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

An audacious goal: A collaboration to cure blindness with retinal cell transplants

An audacious goal: A collaboration to cure blindness with retinal cell transplants

Read about HWNI faculty member Teresa Puthussery’s research, and what motivates her and her team.
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Wallis elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Wallis elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Congratulations to HWNI faculty member Joni Wallis!
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Overcoming obstacles: PhD alum Tara Tracy seeks new approaches to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Overcoming obstacles: PhD alum Tara Tracy seeks new approaches to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Read our Q&A with Neuroscience PhD alum Tara Tracy, assistant professor at the Buck Institute.
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What is Alzheimer’s disease and why can’t we develop effective treatments?

What is Alzheimer’s disease and why can’t we develop effective treatments?

HWNI faculty member William Jagust explains what we know — and don’t know — about Alzheimer’s disease.
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Kid-edited journal pushes scientists for clear writing on complex topics

Kid-edited journal pushes scientists for clear writing on complex topics

The Washington Post covers unique journal founded by HWNI member and former director Robert Knight.
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Q&A with Noah Whiteman

Q&A with Noah Whiteman

HWNI faculty member Noah Whiteman is profiled in this Q&A from Current Biology.
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Shekhar selected as an Allen Institute Next Generation Leader

Shekhar selected as an Allen Institute Next Generation Leader

Congratulations to HWNI faculty member Karthik Shekhar!
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D’Esposito receives 2023 Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Award

D’Esposito receives 2023 Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Award

Congratulations to HWNI member Mark D'Esposito!
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Recent Faculty Publications

01 Feb 2023
Cogn Psychol. 2023 Jan 30;141:101550. doi: 10.1016/j.cogpsych.2023.101550. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTWe examined the role of different types of similarity in both analogical reasoning and recognition memory. On recognition tasks, people...
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30 Jan 2023
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 12:2023.01.11.523644. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.11.523644. Preprint.ABSTRACTTRAAK is a mechanosensitive two-pore domain K + (K2P) channel found in nodes of Ranvier within myelinated axons. It displays low leak activity at...
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30 Jan 2023
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 12:2023.01.11.523644. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.11.523644. Preprint.ABSTRACTTRAAK is a mechanosensitive two-pore domain K + (K2P) channel found in nodes of Ranvier within myelinated axons. It displays low leak activity at...
Read More
30 Jan 2023
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 12:2023.01.11.523644. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.11.523644. Preprint.ABSTRACTTRAAK is a mechanosensitive two-pore domain K + (K2P) channel found in nodes of Ranvier within myelinated axons. It displays low leak activity at...
Read More
30 Jan 2023
bioRxiv. 2023 Jan 12:2023.01.11.523644. doi: 10.1101/2023.01.11.523644. Preprint.ABSTRACTTRAAK is a mechanosensitive two-pore domain K + (K2P) channel found in nodes of Ranvier within myelinated axons. It displays low leak activity at...
Read More
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