Center for Neurogeneration
Seth Grant's Group



Professor Seth G.N. Grant FRSE
Centre for Neuroregeneration
Chancellor's Building
49 Little France Crescent
EH16 4SB , 0131 242 7984
PA: Ann Ross 0131 465 9512

Biographical Profile

Seth Grant graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Science (Medicine) degree based on research in respiratory neurophysiology with Dr. D.J.C. Read in 1980.

He graduated with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with First Class Honours in 1994 and also conducted respiratory physiology research at the Royal Free Hospital London with Dr. S.W. Clarke in 1981 and 1983.

From 1985-1989 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (New York) with Dr. D.Hanahan studying transgenic mouse models of cancer and diabetes.

As a research associate at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (1989-1994) and Centre for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University (New York) he studied mouse genetic models of learning and memory with Dr. E.R. Kandel (Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology, 2000).

He established his laboratory at the Centre for Genome Research at Edinburgh University in 1994 and in 2000 was appointed Professor of Molecular Neuroscience in the Division of Neuroscience. In 2003 he was appointed Principal Investigator at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge and remained there until 2011, when he returned to Edinburgh University.

He has held additional appointments including the John Cade Visiting Professor at Melbourne University (2005), Honorary Professorship at Cambridge University (2007 onward) and elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2011).

Research Overview

The long-term aim is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of behaviour and how these mechanisms are involved in brain disease.

The research has focussed on the study of genes and proteins that control the synapses between nerve cells. Multiprotein machines comprising many different protein components are responsible for basic innate and learned behaviours and dysfunction in many brain diseases. Recent work shows that these mechanisms are conserved between mice and humans opening new avenues for diagnosis and therapeutic discoveries.

The Genes to Cognition research team ( has generated a large amount of data and tools that are freely available and an education and public understanding website (

Group Members



The Grant lab is currently funded by The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council and European Union (GENCODYS, EUROSPIN, SYNSYS, Human Brain Project)

Key recent publications 

Nithianantharajah J, Komiyama NH, McKechanie A, Johnstone M,Blackwood DH, St Clair D, Emes RD, van de Lagemaat LN, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ, Grant SGN (2013) Synaptic scaffold evolution generated components of vertebrate cognitive complexity. Nature Neuroscience Published online: 02 December 2013:10.1038/nn.3276

Ryan TJ, Kopanitsa MV, Indersmitten T, Nithianantharajah J,Afinowi NO, Pettit C, Stanford LE, Sprengel S, Saksida LM, Bussey TJ, O‟Dell TJ, Grant SGN, Komiyama NH (2013) Evolution of  GluN2A/B cytoplasmic domains diversified vertebrate synaptic plasticity and behaviour.Nature Neuroscience Published online: 02 December 2013:10.1038/nn.3277

Hawrylycz MJ et al. (2012) An anatomically comprehensive atlas of the adult human brain transcriptome. Nature 489:391-399.

Bayes A, van de Lagemaat LN, Collins MO, Croning MD, Whittle IR, Choudhary JS, Grant SG  (2011) Characterization of the proteome, diseases and evolution of the human postsynaptic density. Nature Neuroscience 14:19-21.


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