Nicola Allen, PhD

Associate Professor

Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - News


Beyond neurons: How cells called astrocytes contribute to brain disorders

LA JOLLA—Neurons often get most of the credit for keeping our brains sharp and functioning—as well as most of the blame when it comes to brain diseases. But star-shaped cells …

Call-and-response circuit tells neurons when to grow synapses

LA JOLLA—Brain cells called astrocytes play a key role in helping neurons develop and function properly, but there’s still a lot scientists don’t understand about how astrocytes perform these important …

Salk scientists receive $12.9 million from NIH BRAIN Initiative

LA JOLLA—Salk Institute scientists Nicola Allen, Eiman Azim, Margarita Behrens, and Joseph Ecker have been named recipients in the 2019 round of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to better understand the brain.

The …

The Kavli Foundation gifts Salk $3 million for cutting-edge neuroscience research

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute announced today that The Kavli Foundation has committed $3 million to support ongoing neuroscience research at Salk as part of the joint UCSD-Salk Kavli Institute for …

Salk promotes Nicola Allen and Julie Law to associate professor

LA JOLLA—The Salk Institute has promoted Nicola Allen and Julie Law to the rank of associate professor for their notable contributions to neurobiology and plant biology, respectively. The promotions were based …

Nicola Allen receives $2.5 million Chan Zuckerberg Initiative early career award

LA JOLLA—Nicola Allen, an assistant professor in Salk’s Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, has received a five-year, $2.5 million Ben Barres Early Career Acceleration Award from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), as …

Salk awarded $19.2 million by the American Heart Association-Allen Initiative to study Alzheimer’s and aging in the brain

LA JOLLA—A team of Salk Institute researchers led by President Rusty Gage has been awarded $19.2 million over eight years by the American Heart Association-Allen Initiative in Brain Health and …

Brain cells called astrocytes have unexpected role in brain “plasticity”

Astrocytes are the main cell type in the brain producing Chrdl1. Through a technique called fluorescence in situ hybridization, the RNA of different proteins is tagged with fluorescent labels. In …

What happens when your brain’s support cells aren’t so supportive?

LA JOLLA—Potentially explaining why even healthy brains don’t function well with age, Salk researchers have discovered that genes that are switched on early in brain development to sever connections between …

Can you hear me now? Ensuring good cellular connections in the brain

LA JOLLA—To have a good phone conversation, you need a good cellular connection. What's true for mobile phones also turns out to be true for neurons.

Salk Institute scientists have …

Salk Institute scientist Nicola Allen named Pew Scholar

LA JOLLA–The Pew Charitable Trusts announced today that Salk Institute scientist Nicola Allen, an assistant professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, is one of 22 researchers to be named a …


BSc, Anatomical Sciences, University of Manchester, England
PhD, Neuroscience, University College London
Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University


Awards & Honors

  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Career Accelerator Award, 2018
  • Coins For Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART) Award, 2018
  • World Economic Forum Young Scientist, 2017
  • Dana Foundation Neuroimaging Award, 2016
  • Pew Biomedical Scholar Award, 2015
  • Whitehall Foundation Award, 2014
  • Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging Award, 2013
  • Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) Fellowship
  • European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Fellowship