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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.

An image of dendritic spines on neurons in the mouse cortex, produced using new microscopy technology developed by HWNI member Eric Betzig.   

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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PhD Program
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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

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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Scientists discover secret to waking up alert and refreshed

Scientists discover secret to waking up alert and refreshed

New study from HWNI member Matthew Walker’s Center for Human Sleep Science lab and collaborators.
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Yartsev receives two awards at Society for Neuroscience meeting

Yartsev receives two awards at Society for Neuroscience meeting

Michael Yartsev has won the SFN Young Investigator and Krieg Cortical Kudos Explorer awards!
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Recent Faculty Publications

27 Jan 2023
Front Hum Neurosci. 2023 Jan 10;16:1066453. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.1066453. eCollection 2022.ABSTRACTInsufficient sleep is a major health issue. Inadequate sleep is associated with an array of poor health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease,...
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25 Jan 2023
Nature. 2023 Jan 25. doi: 10.1038/s41586-022-05652-7. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe transcription factor TFEB is a master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy1. The phosphorylation of TFEB by the mechanistic target...
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25 Jan 2023
J Magn Reson. 2023 Jan 11;348:107376. doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2023.107376. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTExcitation in MRI is traditionally done at the Larmor frequency, where the energy of each radiofrequency photon corresponds to...
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25 Jan 2023
Cell Rep. 2023 Jan 24;42(2):112034. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112034. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTThe categorization of animal vocalizations into distinct behaviorally relevant groups for communication is an essential operation that must be performed...
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21 Jan 2023
Alzheimers Dement. 2023 Jan 21. doi: 10.1002/alz.12897. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTINTRODUCTION: This study investigated the comparability of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cutoffs for Elecsys immunoassays for amyloid beta (Aβ)42/Aβ40 or Aβ42/phosphorylated...
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