Connecting European Neuroscience

Alison Abbott

Chair, Communication Committee (2016 -2018)



BSc Hons Pharmacology, 1974, University of Leeds, UK

MPhil Pharmacology, 1976, University of Leeds, UK

PhD, 1983, Title of thesis: ‘Studies on the development of glucocorticoid resistance in human lymphoid cells. ’

1976 – 1984 Teaching and Research Fellowships in the Departments of Biochemistry and Pathology, University of Leeds

1984 – 1992 Editor, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences. Tutor in Pharmacology at University of Cambridge

1992 – present Senior European Correspondent for Nature, Munich Office, with responsibility for writing news, features, and editorials, and contributing to the science-in-culture pages. Main subject areas: neuroscience, genetics-genomics, physiology, science policy in Europe.
http://www. nature. com/nature/focus/hiddentreasures.

Honors and awards

2009 Euroscience Science Writers Award.


I write in Nature regularly, in areas including neuroscience, genetics-genomics, physiology, and science policy in Europe. Here is a selection of articles in the area of neuroscience:

Above the ‘big neuroscience’ commotion, literature plays its part.

Europe’s policy-makers must not buy animal-rights activists’ arguments that addiction is a social, rather than a medical, problem.

Editorial: Head Start
 - 7 November, 2013

Europe’s mega-project to simulate the human brain has much to offer neuroscience research – whether or not it delivers on its central promise.

  • Feature: Solving the brain
17 July, 2013

The United States and Europe are both planning billion-dollar investments to understand how the brain works. But the technological challenges are vast.

The stigma associated with mental illness discourages investment in finding cures – even though the burden of the disorder on society is immense. 

After years in the doldrums, research into neurological disorders is about to undergo a major change of direction.

Asking parents to donate a child's brain to research is emotionally fraught. Some researchers say that it is time to put aside the taboos.

Exhibition review

Neurosurgeons have unparalleled access to the human brain. Now they are teaming up with basic researchers to work out what makes it unique, finds Alison Abbott

An Islamic theocracy ravaged by economic sanctions isn't an obvious place to seek a vibrant cognitive- neuroscience research group. Yet that's what Alison Abbott found on a recent trip to Iran.



Alison Abbott

Senior European Correspondent, Nature
Munich office
Nymphenburgerstrasse 14

80335 Munich, Germany