Dr Simon Butt is the current Tutorial Fellow in Neuroscience and Director of Studies for Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
His research focuses on the role that a small subset of nerve cell – termed GABAergic interneurons – play in emergent cognition. Work from his laboratory has identified that these cells act as a physiological scaffold to direct and constrain the maturation of cortical circuits necessary for higher cognitive abilities and conscious perception. He continues to explore the relative contribution of nature versus nurture in brain development, while the translational aspects of his work are primarily concerned with understanding scaffold dysfunction in models of autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia.
His primary role in Keble is to mentor and encourage the dreams and aspirations of the large number of undergraduates and graduates pursuing medical and biomedical courses. This is something he has some experience of, having undertaken the same journey of intellectual and social discovery a number of years ago. In the intervening time he has travelled the world (5 countries, 6 research institutes) pursuing his research goals.