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Dr Andrew Macaskill
G51
Medical Sciences
Gower St
London
WC1E 6BT
Dr Andrew Macaskill profile picture
Appointment
  • Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow
  • Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
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.

Research Groups
Research Themes
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. 


- He delivers lectures on the circuit basis of Anxiety and Depression to second year science and medical students


- To third and fourth years students, he provides lectures on animal models of substance abuse, the neural circuitry of reward behaviour, modern techniques in circuit analysis, and the function of the hippocampus.


- Practical demonstrations of frontline research techniques in electrophysiology are delivered in his laboratory each year.


- Andrew hosts a number of undergraduate and masters level projects in the lab focussed on the role of the hippocampus in reinforcement learning.


- He also runs a series of neuroscience tutorials for first year neuroscience students


- He acts as a personal tutor for neuroscience undergraduates


- He runs the departmental seminar series for postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.


- He carries out graduate student training through UCLs numerous doctoral training programs.


Appointments
01-AUG-2016 – 30-SEP-2021 Sir Henry Dale Fellow Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2010   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
2009   Master of Arts University of Cambridge
2005   Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge
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