Professor Andrea Brand

Specialising in
development and neuroscience

Andrea Brand is Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator at the Gurdon Institute.

Academic interests

One of the goals of research in neurobiology is to repair or regenerate neurons after damage to the brain or spinal cord. Before we can understand how to repair the nervous system, however, we must first learn how the nervous system is put together.

Neurons are produced by multipotent precursors called stem cells. The aim of our work is to identify the genes that direct the different behaviours of stem cells and their progeny in the developing nervous system. It may then become possible to induce stem cells to generate new neurons at will, or induce neurons to regenerate, so as to repair the brain after injury or disease.

Degrees obtained

  • BA Hons, Biochemistry, University of Oxford.
  • PhD, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge.

Awards and prizes

  • Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.
  • Honorary Fellow, Brasenose College, University of Oxford.
  • Member European Molecular Biology Organization.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award.
  • Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award.
  • William Bate Hardy Prize, jointly with Professor Robin Irvine.
  • Hooke Medal, British Society for Cell Biology.
  • Special Award of Excellence, Wellcome Biomedical Imaging Awards.


  • Royal Society Darwin Trust Research Professor, 2016 to present.
  • Head of Wellcome Trust Laboratories, The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, 2015 to present.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, The Gurdon Institute and Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, 2014 to present.
  • Herchel Smith Professor of Molecular Biology, The Gurdon Institute and Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, 2007 to present.
  • Senior Group Leader, The Gurdon Institute, 2005 to present.
  • Director of Research in Developmental Neurobiology, The Gurdon Institute, 2003 to 2007.
  • Invited Professor, Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France, 2002.
  • Research Fellow, King's College, Cambridge, 1999 to 2003.
  • Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Basic Biomedical Research, The Gurdon Institute, 1993 to 2003.
  • Leukemia Society Special Fellow, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA, 1988 to 1993.
  • Helen Hay Whitney Fellow, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, 1986 to 1988.

Other interests

Ballet, contemporary dance.

Department link

Publications, links and resources

Find more information about Andrea Brand's publications and research on her website.

Hear from our students