UCL News


Professor John O'Keefe

6 November 2015

Professor John O'Keefe, inaugural Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL, having launched the centre, will be stepping down from the role in September 2016 so he can once again devote his full attention to a significant program of ongoing and new scientific research.

We are extremely grateful to him for having taken on the demanding role of launching the Centre and are delighted that he will continue his research within it.

Professor O'Keefe has dedicated his time over the last five years to establishing the new centre, overseeing the complex major construction project and beginning a successful recruitment campaign.  The building will be formally opened in the spring of 2016, and, as envisioned by the funders, will be a place where scientists will use state-of-the-art techniques to investigate how circuits in the brain process information to create neural representations and guide behaviour. 

The timing of this announcement is to allow ample time to undertake an international search for the new Director which will be launched in due course.

Professor John O'Keefe, said: "I'm honoured to have been the Inaugural Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre and I'm eager to continue to contribute to the Centre as a researcher once it opens in 2016.  I'm grateful to the SWC funding partners - the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the Wellcome Trust- and the SWC board in supporting me in my role."

UCL President & Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, said: "John O'Keefe is one of UCL's outstanding neuroscientists, as confirmed by his 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and I'm extremely grateful to him for the valuable contribution he has made in setting up the SWC at UCL. I'm delighted he will continue his ground-breaking work at the Centre, which will complement the current strength of UCL's neuroscience research community and its relationships with other medical research organisations."

Notes to Editors

Contact: Dr Rebecca Caygill, UCL press office. T: +44 (0)20 3108 3846 / +44 (0)7733 307 596, E: r.caygill@ucl.ac.uk