About our Centre

Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences (CDBS) is located at Central Campus (Hugh Robson Building and 1 George Square) and BioQuarter Campus (Chancellor's Building) and its research consists of a broad variety of disciplines and cutting edge techniques.

Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences (CDBS) is an interdisciplinary research centre within the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine’s Deanery of Biomedical Sciences.  CDBS, along with other university-wide, often philanthropically funded, themed research centres, make up Edinburgh Neuroscience: the vibrant interdisciplinary research structure that facilitates interaction and collaboration between researchers across groups, centres, schools and colleges.

Members of the Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences carry out research at molecular, cellular, systems and behavioural levels to understand fundamental mechanisms and pathways relevant to brain and body function in health and disease.

CDBS investigators exploit rapid advances in the enabling technologies available from genomics, proteomics, imaging, informatics, and in-vivo analysis to understand the function of gene products at the cell, organ and whole-animal level.

They also exploit the most appropriate model organisms/systems to investigate the delicate balance between high biomedical relevance (for example human, mouse, rat) and high genetic power (such as C. elegans, drosophila and zebrafish).

CDBS Executive Comittee:


The Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences Executive Committee (EC) will discuss Centre research strategy, career development, best practice in research across the centre, and needed improvements. The EC will meet (approximately) every three months, alternating between Central and BioQuarter campuses.  Meeting dates will be announced in advance to allow Agenda items to be submitted for discussion.  Please find all EC minutes in the Information for Staff pages of the CDBS website.

CDBS Executive Committee Name:   Position:


Prof  David Wyllie

Professor of Ion Channel Physiology and Pharmacology 

Deputy Director - Lead for Research Opportunities 

Prof David Lyons

Personal Chair of Neurobiology

Deputy Director -  Lead for Career Development  

Prof Tara Spires-Jones 

Personal Chair of Neurodegeneration

Finance Lead 

Dr Sutherland Maciver 

Reader in Biomedical Sciences

Equality and Diversity Lead

Dr Gülşen Sürmeli 

Senior Research Fellow

Post-graduate Lead 

Dr Paula Brunton 

Senior Lecturer (Edinburgh | Zhejiang)

Post-graduate Lead

Laoise Casserly

PhD Student

Post-doctoral Lead 

Dr Emily Osterweil 

Chancellor's Fellow

Post-doctoral Lead 

Dr Brianna Vandrey

 Postdoctoral Fellow & Lab Manager

Professional Support Services Lead (technical)

Mr James Griffiths

Centre Building Manager

Professional Support Services Lead (administration)

Ms Beverly Roberts 

Scientific Adminstrator Simons Initiative 

Seminar Lead (Central)

Dr Nicola Romano

Tenure Track Lecturer (Edinburgh-Zhejiang)

Seminar Lead (BioQuarter) 

Dr Jian Gan

Chancellors Fellow

The IMPACT facility provides both high quality imaging equipment and expertise for biomedical and life sciences.

Functional imaging and automated chemical and genetic in vivo screening of zebrafish.