Baroness Susan Greenfield

Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Fullerian Professor of Physiology, Honorary Fellow
Measurement of dopamine release ‘on-line’ from brain slices using fast scan cyclic voltammetry. Real time monitoring of release of a protein from the brain. Electrophysiological recording from brain slices in vitro and substantia nigra in vivo in both physiological and pathological conditions. Study of mechanisms underlying regeneration and development of the pathway lost in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's disease, using organotypic co-cultures Organotypic tissue culture.
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College Linacre College

Research summary

Baroness Susan Greenfield

Susan Greenfield 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 co-founder of a university spin-out company specialising in novel approaches to neurodegeneration, - Synaptica Ltd In addition, Professor Greenfield 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) W H Freeman Co, and 'Private Life of the Brain' (2000) Penguin. Her latest 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 vunerable to technology, chemical manipulation, and disease. She has also written 'The Human Brain': A Guided Tour (1997) Orion-Phoenix Press, which ranked in the best seller list for hard and paperbacks. She held the Gresham Chair of Physic from 1996-1999, and has received 28 honorary degrees. In 1998 she was awarded the Michael Faraday medal by the Royal Society and in 1999 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 Honour’s List and Life Peerage (non-political) in 2001. In 2003 she was awarded the Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur.