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.

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

Knight and Scabini make $500K bequest to support Berkeley Neuroscience and Psychology graduate students

Knight and Scabini make $500K bequest to support Berkeley Neuroscience and Psychology graduate students

Thank you to Bob Knight and Donatella Scabini for their generous gift!
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Samantha Lewis wins 2022 Rennie Fund for the Study of Epilepsy

Samantha Lewis wins 2022 Rennie Fund for the Study of Epilepsy

Congratulations to Samantha Lewis, assistant professor of cell biology, development and physiology!
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2022 Q&A with the Neuroscience PhD Program graduates

2022 Q&A with the Neuroscience PhD Program graduates

Congratulations to our recent and upcoming graduates! Read our Q&A with some of them.
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Schekman’s speech to grads: ‘We win if your mind is stretched, but not filled’

Schekman’s speech to grads: ‘We win if your mind is stretched, but not filled’

Read or watch HWNI member Randy Schekman’s keynote address at UC Berkeley’s 2022 commencement.
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Markita Landry selected for inaugural Philomathia Prize

Markita Landry selected for inaugural Philomathia Prize

Congratulations to HWNI member Markita Landry! She develops nanotechnology tools for neuroscience and other applications.
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Welcome to the new BCSP Executive Director Imran Khan!

Welcome to the new BCSP Executive Director Imran Khan!

Khan is the new Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics.
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Breaking the mold

Breaking the mold

Learn about Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics, led by HWNI member Michael Silver.
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From molecules to memories

From molecules to memories

Neuroscience PhD student Gergey Mousa explains how HWNI scientists cross disciplines to understand neurodegenerative diseases.
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Recent Faculty Publications

26 May 2022
Front Physiol. 2021 Nov 5;12:752363. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.752363. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTAdolescence is a period of continuous development, including the maturation of endogenous rhythms across systems and timescales. Although, these dynamic changes are...
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22 Apr 2022
Stat. 2022 Dec;11(1):e433. doi: 10.1002/sta4.433. Epub 2021 Oct 15.ABSTRACTMotivated by a multimodal neuroimaging study for Alzheimer's disease, in this article, we study the inference problem, i.e., hypothesis testing, of sequential...
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04 Mar 2022
Neurobiol Lang (Camb). 2021 Dec 23;2(4):605-627. doi: 10.1162/nol_a_00056. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTBilinguals' need to suppress the activation of their other language while speaking has been proposed to result in enhanced cognitive control...
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23 Feb 2022
Curr Opin Behav Sci. 2021 Apr;38:66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.10.003. Epub 2020 Nov 14.ABSTRACTReinforcement learning (RL) models have advanced our understanding of how animals learn and make decisions, and how the brain...
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21 Feb 2022
Front Neural Circuits. 2022 Feb 4;15:815923. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2021.815923. eCollection 2021.ABSTRACTMüller glia of the retina share many features with astroglia located throughout the brain including maintenance of homeostasis, modulation of neurotransmitter...
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