UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Caswell Barry

Dr Caswell Barry

Professorial Research Fellow

Cell & Developmental Biology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st May 2007

Research summary

What are you working on?

Well there are lots of answers to that question depending on how deep you want to go. Ultimately we’re trying to understand how the brain works - how it creates that experience of being human – but that’s a pretty big challenge. A more tractable question which is a step in the right direction is ‘how does the brain create, store, and update memories for places and events?’ and it’s this I’ve been working on. The way we’re trying to answer this is by studying areas of the brain linked to memory, the hippocampus and associated sections of cortex – by recording the activity of neurons in these areas we can visualise and hopefully understand the processes the trigger memory formation and retrieval. 

Teaching summary

I lecture on several BSc and MSc courses at UCL and also jointly administer the Computational Neuroscience course (NEUR3041).


University College London
, | 2007
University College London
, | 2000
University of Oxford
, | 1999


Prof. Caswell Barry joined UCL’s Cell and Developmental Biology department in 2013, previously being based at the Institute of Neurology with Prof. Neil Burgess. His goal is to build a computational understanding of the neural basis of memory. In other words, explaining how a network of neurons in able to store, update, and retrieve information about the world and events that happen within it.  To this end he studies spatial memory and its representation in the hippocampal formation. His lab uses tools such as computational modeling and optogenetic manipulations to understand how the processes of memory formation and retrieval are triggered. In addition to a UCL Excellence Fellowship, Caswell has also been awarded a Sir Henry Dale Fellowship funded by the Wellcome Trust and Royal Society.