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Eight Oxford academics were announced as Fellows of the Royal Society on Thursday 30 April 2015.

Gero Miesenböck, Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour was amongst the following eight Oxford academics who were made Fellows of the Royal Society:

  • Sir Rory Collins, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Nuffield Department of Population Health
  • Benjamin Davis, Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
  • Alison Etheridge FRSProfessor of Probability, Departments of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Jane Langdale, Professor of Plant Development, Department of Plant Sciences
  • Philip Maini, Professor of Mathematical Biology, Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Institute
  • Gero Miesenböck, Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour
  • Dr Jonathan Pila, Reader in Mathematical Logic, Mathematical Institute
  • Henry Snaith, Professor in Physics, Department of Physics

Gero Miesenböck pioneered the science of optogenetics. He established the principles of optogenetic control in 2002, using rhodopsin to activate normally light-insensitive neurons. He was the first to use optogenetics to control behaviour. These seminal experiments have provided a platform for an explosion in optogenetic applications. Recent honours testify to the significance of these findings. Miesenböck has exploited optogenetics in a succession of brilliant experiments illuminating synaptic connectivity, the neural basis of reward, mechanisms of sleep homeostasis and the control of sexually dimorphic circuitry. These incisive contributions to neuroscience have demonstrated the full potential of optogenetics beyond the proof-of-principle stage.

The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the UK and the Commonwealth. Past Fellows and Foreign Members have included Newton, Darwin, Einstein and Hawking.


The full list of Fellows is available here.

Link to The Royal Society article here.