Advisory Board

Baroness Susan Greenfield

Susan Greenfield, Ph.D., CBE is Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Fullerian Professor of Physiology, Honorary Fellow, Senior Research Fellow. Her latest book is I.D.: The Quest for Meaning in the 21st Century (2008) which discusses two threats to our individuality: new technology and the rise in fundamentalism.
Susan was both an undergraduate and graduate at Oxford, but has subsequently spent time in postdoctoral research at the College de France, Paris, with Professor J Glowinski and at the New York University Medical Centre, New York, with Professor R Llinas. As a consequence of working in both biochemical and electrophysiological environments, she has developed a multidisciplinary approach to exploring novel neuronal mechanisms in the brain that are common to regions affected in both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The basic theme of her research is to develop strategies to arrest neuronal death in these disorders.
She is also cofounder of Synaptica Ltd., a university spin-out company specializing in novel approaches to neurodegeneration. In addition, Susan has a supplementary interest in the neuroscientific basis of consciousness, and accordingly has written Journey to the Centres of the Mind Toward a Science of Consciousness (1995), and Private Life of the Brain (2000).
Her book Tomorrow’s People: How 21st Century technology is changing the way we think and feel (Penguin 2003), explores human nature, and its potential vulnerability in an age of technology. In addition, she is also Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind, part of the James Martin 21st Century School, which exploits the parallels between the brains of the very young and very old, and how they are all vulnerable to technology, chemical manipulation, and disease. She has also written The Human Brain: A Guided Tour (1997), which ranked in the best seller list for hard and paperbacks.
Susan’s papers include Differential Autoreceptor Control of Somatodendritic and Axon Terminal Dopamine Release in Substantia Nigra, Ventral Tegmental Area, and Striatum, On-line visualization of dendritic release of acetylcholinesterase from mammalian substantia nigra neurons, Functional Domains in Dorsal Striatum of the Nonhuman Primate Are Defined by the Dynamic Behavior of Dopamine, Histamine H3 Receptors Inhibit Serotonin Release in Substantia Nigra Pars Reticulata, and A noncholinergic action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the brain: From neuronal secretion to the generation of movement.
She held the Gresham Chair of Physic from 1996–1999, and has received 28 honorary degrees. Her honorary degrees include a DSc by Oxford Brookes University in 1997, a DSc from the University of St. Andrew’s in 1998, and a DSc from Exeter University in 1998. In 1998 she was awarded the Michael Faraday medal by the Royal Society and in 1999 she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. She is also involved in science policy and has given a consultative seminar to the Prime Minister on the future of science in the UK.
Susan has been involved in the “Science and the Economy” seminars at No 11 and in response to a request in 2002 from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, she produced the Greenfield Report SET Fair: A Report on Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology. She has also been elected as Adelaide’s Thinker in Residence for 2004 and 2005. She was awarded the CBE in the Millennium New Year’s Honor’s List and Life Peerage (non-political) in 2001. In 2003 she was awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.
Watch Baroness Prof. Dr. Susan Greenfield (University of Oxford) – The Future of Brain, Gurus – Baroness Greenfield, and The Big Question – Why Am I Me?. Read Interview with Susan Greenfield.