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Professor Irene Tracey

Irene Tracey

MRC Council member

Irene Tracey

Irene Tracey

Professor Irene Tracey holds the Nuffield Chair of Anaesthetic Science and is Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Oxford. Irene did her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Oxford from 1985-1993 followed by a postdoctoral position at Harvard Medical School until 1996. In 1997, Irene helped to co-found the now world-leading Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB – recently renamed Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging) at the University of Oxford and was its Director from 2005 until 2015. She was also Head of the Nuffield Division of Anaesthetics and an Associate Head of the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford prior to taking up her current headship.

Over the past 18 years her multidisciplinary research team has contributed to a better understanding of pain perception, pain relief and nociceptive processing within the injured and non-injured human central nervous system using advanced neuroimaging techniques. More recently, they have been investigating the neural bases of altered states of consciousness during anaesthesia. Irene has served and continues to serve on many national and international committees, such as the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), REF2014, British Neuroscience Association and the Lundbeck Brain Prize Committee.

She is a trustee of the mental health research charity, MQ. She was Deputy Chair of the MRC's Neuroscience and Mental Health Board until 2014, and an MRC Council member from 2016-2018. She is a passionate advocate for women in science and is involved in several mentorship schemes. In 2008, she was awarded the triennial Patrick Wall Medal from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and in 2009 was made an FRCA for her contributions to the discipline. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in 2017 won the Feldberg Foundation Prize.