Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Associate Professor David Dupret

Programme Leader, MRC Brain Network Dynamics Group

David

 

 

 

 

 

 

When did you first get interested in the brain? 

I must confess that this question made my smile at first: isn’t it asking my brain when it got interested in itself? Giving an unbiased answer seems complicated. I was formally trained as a teacher in Biological and Earth Sciences, educated to discuss a variety of topics about nature, ranging from DNA transposons to planet orbital courses. This was lots of fun but I realised in the first years of teaching that I knew nothing about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of scientific investigations, having never experienced the world of research myself. I also had very little idea about how the brain learns. I thus decided to a PhD in Neuroscience (while teaching). I had such a great time working in a laboratory to study the brain that I thought going for a research experience abroad would be a nice follow up. The French Ministry of Education allowed me to work for 10 months as a post-doc in the MRC ANU and, as these things go in Oxford, one project led to another and this is me still here! So, to answer the question, I guess it was when (and because) I had to teach!

Who has inspired you during your career?

Definitely a lot of people, past and present, for both research and teaching. For instance, I have always been impressed by the determination and commitment of Marie Curie to engage with scientific work as a way to satisfy curiosity and express freedom. I was also influenced by the history of Claude Bernard and his lessons as a fantastic example of verbal transmission of thoughts and knowledge. I am daily inspired by many people; my wife, my team members, my mentors.

What has been the most important paper in your area in the last 12 months?

 I cannot cite just one of such recent papers. I think the most important papers are those opening new niches and avenues for many to follow. I guess only history will tell us which papers were really important.

What is the next exciting breakthrough in your field going to be?

Probably the identification of the circuit-level implementation of algorithms that allow distributed neuronal populations to cooperate in a flexible manner without compromising stability. 

What do you do outside the lab?

All the spare time I have outside the lab goes to my family. We play, hike, cook, debate and travel.

What’s your favourite film/book/music? 

Too many of these. My favourite book is probably To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. At the moment I am listening the work of Ludovico Einaudi.