David Attwell read physics at Oxford, where he was awarded the Scott Prize for the best First in finals in 1974. He did a PhD on the electrical properties of nerve and muscle cells in the Oxford laboratories of Julian Jack and Denis Noble, for which he received the Gotch Memorial Prize in 1979.
Obtaining an SRC postdoctoral fellowship, he worked in Berkeley with Frank Werblin on the ion channels underlying retinal information processing, which led to him receiving the Sharpey-Schafer Prize of the Physiological Society in 1986. On returning from California, after another year in Oxford supported by a fellowship from Magdalen College, in 1981 he was recruited as a Lecturer by University College London, where he became the Jodrell Professor of Physiology in 1995.
David has research interests across a wide range of neuroscience areas, including neuron–glial interactions, glutamate transport, stroke, the development of myelin-forming oligodendrocytes, the energy use of the brain and its relation to information processing, and the regulation of blood flow in the brain at the capillary level.
Cellular neuroscience, Glial cells, Brain energy use, Myelination, Cerebral blood flow, Neuron-glial interactions, BOLD fMRI