Cambridge neuroscientist and psychologist Dr Duncan Astle is the first inaugural Gnodde Goldman Sachs Professor of Neuroinformatics within the Department of Psychiatry.
The professorship is possible thanks to a generous endowment from the Gnodde family and Goldman Sachs Gives.
Long established and internationally leading in neuroimaging data analysis, this position is essential to furthering the Department’s world-leading neuro and mental health research.
Duncan’s methodological innovations for understanding neural systems in childhood, how they influence developmental disorders, and how they respond to intervention have made him outstanding in his field.
Speaking about his new post, Duncan said:
“I feel truly honoured to have been appointed the Gnodde Goldman Sachs Professorship in Neuroinformatics. The University of Cambridge is a centre of excellence for developmental research. This unparalleled opportunity to deliver a transformative step-change in cutting-edge science and clinical practice.”
This gift will not only support the Department’s pioneering work in neuroinformatics, working with some of the world’s largest data cohorts. It will also help further our understanding of neural network dynamics — how a developing child’s brain changes — and how this can impact their education and mental wellbeing.
This gift will also strengthen the University’s expertise in this field and attract the best students and early-career researchers.
Tamsin Ford, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Duncan to the Department of Psychiatry and excited to strengthen our existing links with the MRC Cognition and Brain Science Unit in this important area.”
Duncan is a Programme Leader at the University’s MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and a member of the MRC’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Board. He is also a Fellow and Director of Studies at Robinson College and Chair of the University of Cambridge’s LGBT+ Staff Network.
In 2016, he was awarded the Early Career Prize by the British Association of Cognition Neuroscience in recognition of his contribution to the field. In 2020 he received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Engagement and Impact for his implementation of research-led insights to facilitate young people’s learning. His research is regularly featured in national and international media and has informed national policy on child health and education.
His 4D Research Group has received support from the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council and multiple charitable foundations.
Duncan will take up this new post on 1 September 2022.