Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute

The Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, was established to integrate neuroscience faculty across the University. The broad goal is to use the power of diverse research approaches to address central questions in neuroscience.

The faculty of the Institute include over 65 researchers with state-of-the-art laboratories from the Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology, Psychology, Physics, and Integrative Biology in the College of Letters and Sciences; the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry in the College of Chemistry, the Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management in the College of Natural Resources; the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute; the School of Public Health; Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and Bioengineering in the College of Engineering; the School of Optometry's Program in Vision Sciences; and the Haas School of Business.

The Institute also administers the Graduate Program in Neuroscience. Students admitted to the program may work with any of the Neuroscience PhD Program Faculty and are fully supported for the duration of their graduate work.

Ehud Isacoff
(510) 642-9853
Mailing address

450 Li Ka Shing Biomedical Center, MC#3370, Berkeley, CA 94720-3370

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.
July 31, 2019
Matt O'Connor
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has awarded Berkeley researchers a five-year grant estimated to total $47 million to employ advanced brain imaging in a study of whether changes in lifestyle can protect people at risk for dementia. "A healthy diet and lifestyle are generally recognized as good for health, but this study is the first large randomized controlled trial to look at whether lifestyle changes actually influence Alzheimer's disease-related brain changes," says Susan Landau, an associate research neuroscientist at Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, and the study's principal investigator. For more on this, see our press release at Berkeley News. Other stories on this topic appeared in News-Medical.net and DotMed.
November 19, 2018
Teens who play even a single season of high school football can develop microscopic brain changes, according to a first-of-its kind study co-authored by Berkeley researchers. The study employed a new kind of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take images of players' brains before and after a football season. While all the participants wore helmets, and none had suffered concussions, their brain scans showed significant changes in the grey matter's structure, both in the front and back of the brain, as well as structural changes deep inside the brain. "It is becoming pretty clear that repetitive impacts to the head, even over a short period of time, can cause changes in the brain," says electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Chunlei Liu, a senior author of the study and a member of Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. "This is the period when the brain is still developing, when it is not mature yet, so there are many critical biological processes going on, and it is unknown how these changes that we observe can affect how the brain matures and develops." This story originated at Berkeley News, and it was reprinted in dozens of sources around the world.