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

For neuroscientists, a checklist for eliminating gender bias

For neuroscientists, a checklist for eliminating gender bias

Paper authored by HWNI postdocs, grad students, and faculty highlights ways to combat gender bias in academia.
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Gomez named a 2021 Rose Hills Innovator

Gomez named a 2021 Rose Hills Innovator

Congratulations to HWNI faculty member Andrea Gomez for being chosen as a Rose Hills Innovator!
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Rats prefer to help their own kind. Humans may be similarly wired

Rats prefer to help their own kind. Humans may be similarly wired

A new study from the Kaufer lab reveals neural mechanisms underlying “ingroup bias” in rats.
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A peek inside a flying bat’s brain uncovers clues to mammalian navigation

A peek inside a flying bat’s brain uncovers clues to mammalian navigation

The Yartsev lab has discovered neural activity that predicts future position as bats are flying.
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Unusual coronavirus protein is potential drug target to fight COVID-19

Unusual coronavirus protein is potential drug target to fight COVID-19

Read about new research from the labs of HWNI members Stephen Brohawn and Diana Bautista.
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Zebrafish enable large-scale analysis of catastrophic childhood epilepsy genes

Zebrafish enable large-scale analysis of catastrophic childhood epilepsy genes

In a new paper, the Baraban lab describes their new models of catastrophic childhood epilepsies.
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Q&A with the 2021 Neuroscience PhD Program graduates

Q&A with the 2021 Neuroscience PhD Program graduates

Congratulations to our recent and upcoming graduates! Read our Q&A to learn about them.
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PhD alum Robin Ball and the online innovation of Bio 1AL

PhD alum Robin Ball and the online innovation of Bio 1AL

Neuroscience PhD alum and MCB lecturer Robin Ball discusses shifting to online teaching during the pandemic.
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Recent Faculty Publications

19 Mar 2021
Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 Mar 15:S0149-7634(21)00128-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.02.046. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTExtensive neuroanatomical connectivity between the anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) and hippocampus and neocortex renders them well-placed for a role...
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18 Mar 2021
J Neurosci. 2021 Mar 16:JN-RM-2504-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2504-20.2021. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTTau deposition begins in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) in aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD), and MTL neural dysfunction is...
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15 Mar 2021
J Vis Exp. 2021 Feb 24;(168). doi: 10.3791/61937.ABSTRACTThe relative positioning of cells is a key feature of the microenvironment that organizes cell-cell interactions. To study the interactions between cells of...
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15 Mar 2021
J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2021 Mar 10:1932296821994825. doi: 10.1177/1932296821994825. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTBACKGROUND: Blood glucose and insulin exhibit coordinated daily and hourly rhythms in people without diabetes (nonT1D). Although the...
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11 Mar 2021
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Mar 10:271678X211001216. doi: 10.1177/0271678X211001216. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTWe used 18F-FDG-PET to investigate the frequency of crossed cerebellar diaschisis (CCD) in 197 patients with various...
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