(b. on 27 June, 1948 in Worthing, Sussex, England) graduated in Natural Sciences at Cambridge in 1969 and completed a D.Phil at Sussex. He then had a period out of academic life and helped build the Human Biology exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London and worked for the Science and Features Department of BBC TV, before assuming a Lectureship in St Andrews University. He then moved to Edinburgh University, where he has been Professor of Neuroscience since 1993.
Dr. Morris is well-known for his important contributions in the field of learning and memory. In 1981, he developed the open-field watermaze, a behavioural paradigm used to study learning and memory in rodents that is now in widespread use throughout the world. In 1986, he showed that activation of NMDA receptors in the hippocampus is critical for memory encoding. More recently, he developed the synaptic tagging and capture hypothesis to explain why some memories persist while others do not. He is also interested in the application of concepts and techniques from his work to develop new therapeutics for Alzheimer's Disease.
The author of over 150 refereed journal articles and 3 books, Dr. Morris was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1997 and has recently held a Royal Society/Wolfson Merit Award from the Society. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. He has won several awards for his research, most notably the Zotterman Medal of the Swedish Physiological Society in Stockholm (1999) and the Feldberg Prize (2006), and has served as President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (2006-08). He also gave a Presidential Lecture at the Society for Neuroscience in 2009.
(originally featured 25 October 2011)
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