Alumnus Gunes Unal Wins Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford

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Gunes Unal, post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) at Rutgers University, Newark, was recently announced as the winner of the European Blaschko Visiting Research Fellowship at the University of  Oxford in England.

Unal, who received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University, Newark in 2012, will be at Oxford for two years beginning this coming October. The Blaschko Fellowship was set up 10 years ago in memory of the late H. Blaschko, FRS, a pioneering biochemist at Oxford’s  Department of Pharmacology.

Unal will be joining the research group of Dr. Peter Somogyi in the British Medical Research Council Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit, Department of Pharmacology, Linacre College, at Oxford.  Dr. Somogyi, along with then Rutgers Professor Gyogy Buzsaki of CMBN, and their collaborator Professor Tamas Freund, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, were winners of the $1.4 million European Brain Prize, in 2011.   

Unal is a native of Turkey who attended Bogazici University in Istanbul for his undergraduate studies between 2004 and 2008.  During his college years he was a visiting student in the laboratory of Dr. Alev Erisir in the University of Virginia, where he conducted research on environmental enrichment and learned the basics of electron microscopy.  Unal came to Rutgers CMBN in 2008 as he was drawn to the Center’s strong faculty in electrophysiology; at CMBN he has worked with Professors James Tepper and Denis Paré.

Unal’s dissertation research, done under Paré’s supervision, was on the topic of associative properties of the brain’s perirhinal network. Unal’s research has been published in Cerebral Cortex and Journal of Comparative Neurology.

The Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience (CMBN) at Rutgers University in Newark, N.J. is one of the leading institutions for neuroscience research in the U.S. Under the leadership of Co-Directors Dr. Ian Creese and Dr. Paula Tallal, CMBN was established in 1985 and currently houses 11 research teams that are at the forefront of neuroscience research. The researchers of tomorrow are being trained at the CMBN in the graduate program in Behavioral and Neural Sciences, and introductory courses and summer internships for undergraduate students are also offered.  For more information please visit and