Tim Bliss

Tim Bliss

Born in England in 1940 and gained his PhD at McGill University in Canada. In 1967 he joined the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London, where he was Head of the Division of Neurophysiology from 1988 till 2006. His work with Terje Lømo in Per Andersen’s laboratory at the University of Oslo in the late 1960’s established the phenomenon of long-term potentiation (LTP) as the dominant synaptic model of how the mammalian brain stores memories. Since then he has worked on many aspects of LTP, including presynaptic mechanisms responsible for the persistent increase in synaptic efficacy that characterizes LTP, and the relationship between synaptic plasticity and memory. 

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

He shared the Bristol Myers Squibb award for Neuroscience with Eric Kandel in 1991, and the Ipsen Prize for Neural Plasticity with Richard Morris and Yadin Dudai in 2013. In May 2012 he gave the annual Croonian Lecture at the Royal Society on ‘The Mechanics of Memory’. He has honorary degrees from the Dalhousie University and the University of Hertfordshire. He is a visiting professor at University College London, and at the Frontier Institutes of Science and Technology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China.

Honors and awards

  • 1991 Bristol Myers Squibb Award for Neuroscience (with E. Kandel)
  • 1994 Feldberg Prize
  • 1994 Fellow of the Royal Society
  • 1998 Founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • 2003 Annual Award for Contributions to British Neuroscience, British Neuroscience Society
  • 2012 Croonian Prize Lecture, Royal Society (this is the Society’s principal lecture in the biological sciences, given annually since 1738)
  • 2013 Ipsen Prize for Neuronal Plasticity; Hon LlD Dalhousie University
  • 2014 Hon DSc University of Hertfordshire

Research Interest

Neural basis of learning and memory, with particular reference to the mechanisms and function of long-term potentiation in the hippocampus