We are interested in molecular mechanisms that configure neural circuits to carry out computations. Our approach combines electrophysiological, molecular and behavioural analysis, with computational modeling and development of molecular and software tools. Current topics of interest include homeostatic control of neuronal activity in vivo, circuit mechanisms for encoding of location by the entorhinal cortex and hippocampus, and roles of ion channels in circuit computations important for motor behaviour. We hope that over the long term our research will be important for understanding and treating clinical disorders such as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy.

Follow these links for more information about our research and funding.


Follow these links to contact current members and alumni. Or click on a person below.

Matt Nolan

Group Leader

Cian O’Donnell

Research fellow

Mel White

Research fellow

Derek Garden

Research Fellow

Helen Ramsden

PhD student

Hugh Pastoll

PhD student

Lukas Fischer

PhD student

Lukas Solanka

PhD student

Arianna Rinaldi

Research Fellow

Christina McClure

Research Fellow

Gulsen Surmeli

Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow


Selected Recent Publications

Solanka L., van Rossum M.C.W. & Nolan, M.F. Noise promotes independent control of gamma oscillations and grid firing within a recurrent attractor network. eLife 2015;10.7554/eLife.06444.

Ramsden H.L., Sürmeli G. ,McDonagh S.G. & Nolan M.F. (2015) Laminar and Dorsoventral Molecular Organization of the Medial Entorhinal Cortex Revealed by Large-Scale Anatomical Analysis of Gene Expression. PLoS Computational Biology 11(1): e1004032.

Gonzalez-Sulser A., Parthier D., Candela A., McClure C., Pastoll H., Garden G., Sürmeli G., and Nolan M.F. (2014). GABAergic projections from the medial septum selectively inhibit interneurons in the medial entorhinal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 34, 16739-16743.

Click here for a full list of publications.

Code, tools and datasets

Stochastic ion channel simulation software

Mouse virtual reality

Molecular tools

Constructs developed by the lab are deposited at Addgene

Analysis code

Documentation and code for Python tools to analyse grid firing patterns can be found here:


Computational models of neurons that we have developed are deposited in ModelDB: Click here

RNAseq datasets

RNAseq date for Ramsden et al. (2015) is available here:


Matt Nolan
Centre for Integrative Physiology
University of Edinburgh
Hugh Robson Building
George Square

Join us

If you are interested in joining the lab then please email with a CV and a brief description of projects you’d like to work on (