On behalf of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cambridge, we are delighted to announce that Prof. Tamar Makin has been appointed as a new Programme Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (MRC CBU) from 1st June 2022.
Tamar is the leader of the Plasticity Lab, which aims to understand how our opportunities for action in the world shape representations in the brain, and vice versa. Her research focuses on hand representation and how it is modulated by hand loss and consequential compensatory behaviour. She is interested in developing a mechanistic understanding of the neural basis of hand function and dysfunction, and how we can use technology to increase hand functionality in able and disabled individuals. Her hope is that through this research, clinicians and engineers will be able to guide patients and users to take advantage of the benefits of brain plasticity, rather than to suffer from its adverse effects. By bringing her exemplary research programme to the CBU, Tamar and her team add important strengths to the Unit’s and the MRC’s scientific mission that embraces the symbiotic, bidirectional relationship between fundamental and applied science.
Tamar graduated from the Brain and Behavioural Sciences programme at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2009. She was then awarded several career development fellowships to establish her research programme on brain plasticity in amputees at the University of Oxford, first as Research Fellow and later as a Principle Investigator. In 2016 Tamar joined the faculty of UCL to continue this work. She is currently supported by the European Research Council (Starting Grant), the Wellcome Trust (Senior Research Fellow) and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (Research Grant).
Tamar said “Both my team and I are excited to join the wonderful community of the MRC CBU. The Unit has the unique interest and ability to support fundamental research with technological and clinical orientation. Beyond the fantastic facilities and technical support, the Unit provides a true opportunity to develop a comprehensive cognitive framework that I believe is essential for overcoming some of the key challenges that we are currently facing for translational research.”
We are sure that you will all join us in congratulating Tamar on her appointment.