Connecting European Neuroscience

Zoltán Molnár

History Committee member (2014-2018)

Curriculum Vitae


1989-1994  University of Oxford, Hertford College Oxford, D.Phil. Degree in Physiology

1982-1988  Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, Hungary, MD (summa cum laude).

1978-1982  Nagykörösi Arany János Gimnázium, Nagykörös, Hungary, Baccalauréat


Positions and employment

2007-present  Professor of Developmental Neuroscience, University of Oxford

2000-present  Tutor in Human Anatomy at St John's College, Oxford

2000-2007      University Lecturer, Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QX (Appointed until the age of retirement in 2005)

2000-2006      Lecturer in Human Anatomy at St Hilda’s College, Oxford

1998-1999      Premier assistant, Médecine, Institut de Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie, Université de Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 9, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland

1997-1998      MRC Postdoctoral Fellow, University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford

1994-1997      MRC Research Training Fellow, University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK

1992-1995      Junior Research Fellow, Merton College, Oxford, UK

1990-1992      Baring Senior Scholar, Hertford College, Oxford, UK and Wellcome Trust Research Assistant, University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford

1989-1990      Soros - Hungarian Academy of Sciences Scholarship, Hertford College, Oxford, UK

1988-1989      Resident in Neurological Surgery, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, Hungary


Other professional activities

2013-present   Vice President, St John’s College, Oxford

2013-present   Deputy Head of Department, Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, Oxford

2014-present   Honorary Treasurer (Senior Member) of the University of Oxford Lawn Tennis Club

2002-2004       Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford

2001-2006       Dean for Graduation, St John’s College, Oxford

1997-1998       Stipendiary Lecturer in Physiology, Wadham College, Oxford, UK

1994-1995       Junior Dean, Merton College, Oxford, UK


Administrative and organisational experience

2013-present  Member of the Neurosciences Strategic Oversight Committee, University of Oxford.

2011-2014      Member of the Neuroscience Management Board, University of Oxford.

2010-present  Member of the MSC in Neurosciences Management Board, Univeristy of Oxford

2011-present  Management Committee Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford


Scientific meetings organised

 2014 Cortical Development (Stem Cells, Neurogenesis, Neuronal Differentiation, Migration, Neural circuit formation) with A.R. Kriegstein and G. Fishell (Greece). Symposium on ‘Early cortical circuits’ on FENS Forum Milan, 2014

2013 Session Organiser, 7th European Conference on Comparative Neurology, Budapest, Hungary

2011 FENS-IBRO European Neuroscience Schools, 5-10th June in Castle of Bertinoro, Development and plasticity of cortical representation.  Scientific Organisers. Zoltán Molnar (University of Oxford, UK) and Pasko Rakic (Yale University, USA)

2010 Anatomical Society of UK and Northern Ireland, Development of the Human Cerebral Cortex, St Anne’s College, Oxford

2009 Construction and reconstruction of the brain. Awaji Yumebutai, October 8-10, Japan (co organised with Nobuhiko Yamamoto and Fujio Murakami).

2007 Novartis Foundation Symposium Proposer on Genes of brain developmental disorders – London, UK; Novartis Foundation Open Meeting, London, UK; Novartis Foundation, Jenkinosn Trust and St John’s College Research Centre, Open Meeting on Cerebral Cortical Development at St John’s College Oxford

2005 Member of the Scientific Program Committee of the 7th Neurochemistry Winter Conference, Solden, Austria (jointly with Professors Brose, Saria, Schwarzacher, Zernig).

2004 Host and co-organizer of the 4th European Conference on Comparative Neurobiology, St John’s College,Oxford; Co-organizer (with Makato Sato) session on: “Molecular and Cellular Principles of Cerebral Cortical Development” on the Anatomical Science Meeting: From Gene to Body, Kyoto, Japan.

2003 Co-organizer (with R. Erzurumlu and W. Guido) of “Development and Plasticity in Sensory Thalamus and Cortex”. Satellite meeting to the Society for Neuroscience Meeting at New Orleans.

2000 Symposium Organiser (jointly with Prof. George Benedek) on the Joint Meeting of British-Hungarian Physiological Societies, Budapest, Hungary

1999 Novartis Foundation Symposium Proposer on Evolutionary Developmental Biology of Brain Development, London



2012  Elected Member of “Circle of Willis” Association of medical teachers at Oxford.

2010  Medical Sciences Teaching Excellence Award, University of Oxford

2006  Elected Member of “Bundle of His” Association of medical teachers at Oxford

2002-2012  Elected to membership of the Senior Common Room of Green College, Oxford

1999  The 1999 Krieg Cortical Kudos Cortical Explorer Prize of the American Anatomical Society's Cajal Club.

1995  Biennial Rolleston Memorial Prize of Oxford and Cambridge Universities for 1994-1995 for the DPhil Thesis.

1995  CIBA Foundation Bursar, London, UK

1990-1992 Hertford College Baring Senior Scholarship, Oxford University, UK

1990-1993  Oversees Research Studentship, British Council

1990  Proxime Accessit for the Peter Beaconsfield Prize, Oxford University, UK

1988  The István Apáthy Medal of the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, Hungary

1988  The István Apáthy Prize of István Apathy College, Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School, Szeged, Hungary

1987  First Prize of the International Student Research Congress, Halle, Germany

1987  Special Prize of the Hungarian Physiological Society, Pécs, Hungary

1984-1987  Hungarian People's Republic Stipendium (awarded three times)

1982  Bazsó Lajos Prize in Physics, Nagykörösi Arany János Gimnázium, Nagykörös, Hungary

1981  The 1981 Arany János Prize of the Arany János Gimnázium, Nagykörös, Hungary


Teaching experience

Current departmental teaching (55 hours/year); current college teaching (96-150hours/year). Lecture contributions: BM second year lectures; BM principles of clinical anatomy course Lectures; Lectures for Biomedical Sciences

Teaching in dissection room in clinical anatomy course.

Organiser of neuroanatomy practicals (30 hours)

Edited practical Neuroanatomy booklet for second year medical students since 2000.

FHS Lectures and Seminars (10 hours); MSC in Neuroscience Lectures

Authored and revised 10 computer assisted learning programs for Neuroanatomy practicals:


Examiner for 1st and 2nd BM Degrees; FHS examiner:

2013 Chair of Examiners, Qualifying Examination in the Principles of Clinical Anatomy.

2012-2014 Qualifying Examination in the Principles of Clinical Anatomy, University of Oxford

2007-2010 FHS Examiner – Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford (Lead examiner in 2010).

2003-2007 External Examiner – Advanced Neuroanatomy Course – University College London

2003-2004 BM Examiner at University of Oxford, ‘Organization of the Body’ (2004 – Lead Examiner)


Senior founding member of the University of Oxford Graduate Cortex Club: Cortex Club is a graduate academic forum; it is a new and unique educational forum dealing with cutting-edge topics and significant, challenging issues in neuroscience. Events organised and chaired by graduate students and the Club is run by a Committee elected by graduate members. The Club is supported by the senior member.


Research Interests

I am interested in the interactions between the environment and the unfolding genetic program of brain development, with special attention to the cerebral cortex. My objectives include: To understand the development of early cortical circuits (with special attention to thalamocortical projections and subplate neurons). To study how progenitor/stem cells produce cerebral cortical neurons during normal embryonic development and in the adult after injury. To elucidate the normal migration and differentiation program of cortical neurons and understand their disorders. To gain insight into the evolution of these developmental mechanisms (for more information see:


Selected Publications


  • Molnár Z (1998) Development of Thalamocortical Connections, Springer - Heidelberg, 264p
  • Development and Plasticity in Sensory Thalamus and Cortex. (2006) Springer, NY (Editors: R. Erzurumlu, W. Guido, Z. Molnár). Book by Springer, NY

Journal issues edited

  • Special Issue of Brain Research Bulletin (2005) (Edited by Z. Molnár, A. Butler, H. ten Donkelaar, L. Medina and L. Puelles). 4th European Conference on Comparative Neurobiology, Oxford, 2005. (Volume 66 Number 4-6 September 15, 2005).
  • Edited Special Reviews for Volume 23. Eur. J. Neurosci. on Molecular and Cellular basis of Cortical Development”(CONCORDE).
  • Special Issue of Brain Research Bulletin Volume 75 Numbers 2-4 (2008) (Edited by Vernier P, Wullimann, Molnár Z, Butler A, ten Donkelaar H.) 5th European Conference on Comparative Neurobiology, Paris, 2007. 
  • Co-editor (with Dr Gavin Clowry) of the Special Issue of Journal of Anatomy on Human Cerebral Cortex Development. Journal of Anatomy. 2010.

Selected Papers

  • Molnár Z, Garel S, López-Bendito G, Maness P, Price DJ (2012) Mechanisms controlling the guidance of thalamocortical axons through the embryonic forebrain.   Eur J Neurosci 35: 10. 1573-1585
  • Hoerder-Suabedissen A, Oeschger FM, Krishnan ML, Belgard TG, Wang WZ, Lee S, Webber C, Petretto E, Edwards AD, Molnár Z. (2013) Expression profiling of mouse subplate reveals a dynamic gene network and disease association with autism and schizophrenia. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(9):3555-60.
  • T Grant Belgard, Juan F Montiel, Wei Zhi Wang, Fernando García-Moreno, Elliott H Margulies, Chris P Ponting, Zoltán Molnár (2013) Adult pallium transcriptomes surprise in not reflecting predicted homologies across diverse chicken and mouse pallial sectors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(32):13150-5.


Interest in History of Neuroscience:

Knowledge of the history of neuroscience can enrich our current research and teaching.  I am very interested in the history of neuroscience at Oxford with special attention to Thomas Willis, Sir Charles Sherrington and Sir Wilfrid Le Gros Clark. Together with Dr Richard Boyd in 2010 I established the “Oxford History of Science Seminar Series” and together with Dr Damion Young and Professor Richard Brown (Halifax) we created a historic repository for the University of Oxford Medical Division:


Selected papers for History of Neuroscience

  • Molnár Z (2004) Thomas Willis (1621-1675), the founder of clinical neuroscience. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 5(4):329-35.
  • Molnár Z and Brown RE (2010) Insights into the life and work of Sir Charles Sherrington.  Timeline.  Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 11(6):429-36.

Zoltán Molnár

Professor of Developmental Neuroscience
Deputy Head of Department
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics
University of Oxford
South Parks Road
Oxford OX1 3QX, UK