Indian-Origin Neuroscientist Awarded the Lister Prize to Fund Brain Research

Newcastle University’s Dr Srikanth Ramaswamy has been announced
as one of six new Fellows selected for the 2023 Lister prize
Indian-origin computational Neuroscientist Dr Srikanth Ramaswamy has been
announced as one of six new Fellows for the 2023 Lister prize for his early-career
success that indicated an exceptional potential for future biomedical research. His
work contributes to a greater understanding of disease and pathogens and the
body’s healing mechanisms, supporting the development of new therapeutic

Dr Ramaswamy is part of Newcastle University’s NUAcT fellowship scheme and
leads the Neural Circuits Laboratory. His research aims to better understand how the
brain works and to build computer models of how it implements cognitive functions.
The brain continuously adapts and responds to behavioural demands. It achieves
this by controlling the function of nerve cells (neurons) and their networks through
the release of neuromodulators.
Neuromodulators – histamine, acetylcholine, noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin
– are chemical messengers that govern the emergence of brain movement by
controlling the activity of neural networks and regulating shifts between behavioural
states like sleep, wakefulness, distraction and attention.
Dr Ramaswamy’s research will assess how neuromodulators shape cognition and
use this knowledge to build computer models of how the brain works and how it goes
awry in disease.
He said: “Winning a prestigious Lister Prize will help to advance my research
programme at Newcastle University and propel my career development.
Dr Ramaswamy further added, “The flexibility of funding provided by a Lister Prize
will allow me to build a multidisciplinary team to progress with this new research
direction, focusing on biological and artificial neural networks. Over and above, I will
benefit from the Institute’s mentorship programme for early career scientists and
become part of a lifelong network of Lister Fellows.”
About Lister Prize Fellowship
The Lister Prize Fellowships are one-off awards which help to support and nurture
future leaders in biomedical research. These awards are for those in the early stages
of their career. The prizes of £250,000 are given each year following a written
application process, rigorous peer review and subsequent interview with members of
the Lister Institute’s Scientific Advisory Committee.

The money is awarded as a lump sum grant that must be spent within five years. It
can be used for any research costs and expenses, including the salaries of post-
doctoral workers, technicians, or PhD students, except your salary.

ABOUT NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY: Newcastle University, UK, is a thriving
international community of more than 28,000 students from over 130 countries
worldwide. As a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities in
the UK, Newcastle has a world-class reputation for research excellence in the fields
of medicine, science and engineering, social sciences and the humanities. Its
academics are sharply focused on responding to the major challenges facing society
today. Our research and teaching are world-leading in areas as diverse as health,
culture, technology and the environment. Newcastle University is committed to
providing our students with excellent, research-led teaching delivered by dedicated
and passionate teachers. Newcastle University is ranked 110th in the QS World
Ranking 2024 and 139th in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking


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