May-Britt Moser

Dr. May-Britt Moser is the founding Director of Centre for Neural Computation and Co-Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience. She received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for the identification of grid cells which contribute to the brain’s coordinate system and make it possible for the brain to determine its position and navigate complex environments. 

She received her undergraduate degree in psychology at University of Oslo and her Ph.D. in Neurophysiology in 1995. She married her husband and longtime research partner, Edvard Moser, in 1985 and went on to two postdoctoral fellowship positions where she worked with him, one at University of Edinburgh with Richard Morris and another at University College, London with John O’Keefe with whom she and Edvard shared the Nobel prize.

Her research is focused in neuroscience on spatial memory and spatial location. Her main contribution to science has been the work for which her 2014 Nobel Prize was awarded, the discovery of grid cells in the entorhinal cortex and she has also identified other related cell types in that circuit which also contribute to the brain’s spatial positioning systems.

Dr. Moser serves as a role model to many young scientists. During her Ph.D. she had both of her children and has helped normalize being a mother and a scientist by bringing her children to scientific conferences or the lab when she needed to and breastfeeding in public. She believes that “We need all kinds of people doing science” and learns from the positive mentorship experiences she had when she was a trainee that encouraged her to pursue science as a woman. 

In 2002, Dr. Moser became one of the cofounders of the Centre for the Biology of Memory and later became the director of the Centre for Neural Computation.

Noteworthy Publications:

Fyhn M, Molden S, Witter MP, Moser EI, Moser MB. 2004. Spatial representation in the entorhinal cortex. Science 305:1258–64

Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Molden, S. et al. Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex. Nature 436, 801–806 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature03721

Entry courtesy of Claire Regan

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