St Peter's People

Prof Tim Vogels

Fellow and Tutor in Neuroscience

I studied Physics in Berlin, Germany, before moving to Brandeis University in Massachusetts to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience. After 2 postdoctoral fellowships - at Columbia University in New York City, USA, and at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland - I came to Oxford in 2013 as a Sir Henry Dale Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Fellow. I lead a research group in computational and theoretical neuroscience at the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour and I co-direct the Neurotheory initiative at the university of Oxford. I joined St Peter’s College in 2019.

Teaching

At St Peter’s, I teach Neuroscience related subjects for Medical Students. My teaching is often focuses on a systems view of neural processes and on understanding just how much we still don’t know in neuroscience. I help students to develop the necessary skills to navigate primary scientific literature, and critically assess the claims scientific papers make. My tutorials often use common perceptions of neurological illnesses, brain-machine interfaces and how brain science is depicted in the popular press, in movies and in books to clarify and drill down to the core mechanisms of neural function. I also organise and teach computational neuroscience at summer schools in Europe and South Africa.

Research

My lab focuses on computational and theoretical neuroscience. That means we build models of neurons and neuronal networks that distill and re-articulate our current knowledge of how nervous systems compute at a mechanistic level. In particular, we are interested in the neuronal interplay of excitatory and inhibitory activity in cortex and how these dynamics can form reliable sensory perceptions, stable memories, and motor outputs.