Prof. Peter J. Magill

Prof. Peter J. Magill

Deputy Director, MRC Programme Leader

After graduating in Biochemistry at the University of Bath, Peter came to the University of Oxford to study for his D.Phil. with Dr Mark Bevan and Professor J. Paul Bolam.  Following the award of his doctorate in 2001, for which he received the British Neuroscience Association's 2001 Postgraduate of the Year Prize, Peter remained in Oxford to continue with his studies on the electrophysiological and structural properties of the basal ganglia with Professor Bolam.  In 2002, Peter was elected to a Fellowship by Examination at Magdalen College, Oxford, and then, in 2005, to a Senior Demyship at the same college.  He currently holds a Special Supernumerary Fellowship at University College.  Peter has been an MRC Programme Leader since 2009. He was awarded the title of Professor of Neurobiology by the University of Oxford in 2014.

Peter is the recipient of a prestigious Investigator Award from The Wellcome Trust.  He is also one of the founding Investigators and Theme Leaders at the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre.

Peter has previously served on the Council of the International Basal Ganglia Society (2007-2013), on the National Executive Committee of the British Neuroscience Association (2008-2010), and on the Research Advisory Panel and Grant Assessment Panel of the charity Parkinson's UK (2010-2016). He currently serves on the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Expert Review Group of the Wellcome Trust, and on the Newton International Fellowships Committee of the Royal Society.

In vivo electrophysiological recording techniques, quantitative anatomical methods, and the use of genetics-based approaches for the monitoring and manipulation of specified cell types are all central to Peter's research strategy to elucidate the principles governing neuronal communication within the basal ganglia and partner neural circuits.


Key Research Areas

  • Cellular and network mechanisms underlying neuronal activity in the basal ganglia.
  • Processing of information by the basal ganglia and their partner brain circuits.
  • Experimental models of movement/memory disorders, particularly Parkinson's disease.
  • Translational studies with a view to optimising functional neurosurgery for movement disorders.