Institute of Neuroscience

About Us

About Us

Our core mission is to undertake the highest quality research in neuroscience that translates into patient benefit, real world application and commercial opportunity.

The Institute was founded in 2004 by Professor Colin Ingram (1960-2013) and Professor Anya Hurlbert.  It is now headed by Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers, chair in mitochondrial biology. Neuroscience research has a long and esteemed history in Newcastle dating back to 1864. You can download in full A History of Neuroscience at Newcastle (PDF: 920KB).

We aim to develop vibrant and productive interactions between researchers within our Institute, with other Faculty of Medical Sciences research institutes and with external groups, aligning with the University’s core mission.  Our research strategy also addresses the Societal Challenge of the needs and opportunities relating to healthy and unhealthy ageing via the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing.

Our research is grouped into four broad research themes:

Our Institute is organised around core topics, rather than traditional disciplines, which drives integrative and novel collaborations between clinicians and basic scientists, and allows us to adopt a truly translational approach “from neuron to bedside”.  

There are currently 75 academic staff members making it one of the largest groupings of neuroscientists in the UK.

Our translational capability is underpinned by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Translational Systems Neuroscience, the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), the Centre for Behaviour and Evolution (CBE) and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research.

The impacts of our research are diverse, with our main focus on health and welfare, for both humans and animals; public policy and practice, especially on developing guidelines for diagnosis and treatment; commerce and the economy, via income generation through spin-out companies and improved cost-effectiveness of clinical treatments; and  society and culture, where we aim to educate, engage, and inform debate, including on the ethics of animal research and the de-marginalization of mental illness. 

We are actively involved in initiatives to increase the public understanding of neuroscience and public and patient engagement in research, as well as to promote interaction between science and the arts and humanities. 

We offer unparalleled research training opportunities at both postgraduate and postdoctoral levels and prides itself on providing a stimulating and varied learning and teaching environment.  The latter includes a regular seminar programme series, in addition to other more specialist journal clubs and discussion forums, which cover all aspects of our work.

Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers,
Director of the Institute of Neuroscience



human brain