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