UCL Neuroscience is a research domain that encompasses the breadth of neuroscience research activity across University College London's (UCL) School of Life and Medical Sciences. The domain was established in January 2008, to coordinate neuroscience activity across the many UCL departments and institutes in which neuroscience research takes place.
UCL Neuroscience comprises over 450 senior principal investigators and includes 26 Fellows of the Royal Society and 60 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences. It is currently ranked second in the world for neuroscience and behaviour by Thomson ISI Essential Science Indicators.
UCL has a long tradition in the neurosciences. Henry Dale and Otto Loewi both worked in Ernest Starling's laboratory in 1904 and went on to share the 1936 Nobel Prize for Medicine for their seminal investigation on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses. Starling's successor, Archibald Hill, fostered the career of Bernard Katz, whose long association with UCL began in 1935. Later on in 1970, he shared the Nobel Prize with Ulf von Euler, who had also worked in Hill's laboratory at UCL, and Julius Axelrod, once again for work on chemical neurotransmission.
Fatt and Katz were the first to propose that neurotransmitter release at synapses was quantal in nature. They also uncovered the mechanism underlying inhibitory synaptic transmission.
In a series of seminal papers in the early 1970s, Katz and Ricardo Miledi, described a statistical analysis of fluctuations they observed in the membrane potential at the frog neuromuscular junction, which were induced by acetylcholine. This approach, which became known as ‘noise analysis’, allowed the first measurement of the conductance and lifetime of single ACh receptor channels.