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UCL Division of Biosciences

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Dr Andrew Macaskill

Dr Andrew Macaskill

Principal Research Fellow

Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2008

Research summary

​We are working to understand how neurons in the brain communicate with each other to allow them to encode emotional behaviours and make decisions. Problems with this communication underlie the vast majority of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, and so our aim is to find novel ways to combat these diseases by gaining a greater understanding of the processes that they destroy.  

Our work focuses on a part of the brain called the ventral hippocampus, an area crucial for learning and motivation, and a key node in the transition to mental illness. We use a combination of in vivo and in vitro viral expression, two-photon microscopy, optogenetics, electrophysiology and behavioural assays to identify and characterise the neural circuitry underlying the generation of behaviour, and how this is altered in disease

Teaching summary

Andrew delivers key lectures to Pharmacology, Neuroscience and Medical undergraduate students, focussed on understanding of neural circuitry and its alteration in mental illness, and takes an active role in the support and training of undergraduate and postgraduate students in the laboratory. 

Education

University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2010
University of Cambridge
Other higher degree, Master of Arts | 2009
University of Cambridge
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts | 2005

Biography

Andrew graduated in 2005 with a first class degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge. He carried out PhD studies with Prof Josef Kittler as part of the Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD program in Neuroscience at UCL, before moving to New York as a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow to work with Adam Carter at the Centre For Neural Science at New York University. Andrew started his independent research group in 2015, as a UCL Excellence Fellow and Welcome Trust and Royal Society Sir Henry Dale Fellow.

Publications