This is an historical archive of the activities of the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit (MRC ANU) that operated at the University of Oxford from 1985 until March 2015. The MRC ANU established a reputation for world-leading research on the brain, for training new generations of scientists, and for engaging the general public in neuroscience. The successes of the MRC ANU are now built upon at the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford.

The Unit Anniversary Oak: commemorating 40 and 30 years of science

On the 29th of March 2014, Prof Ian W. Chubb, Chief Scientist of Australia and the Unit Director, Prof Peter Somogyi planted a fastigiate oak (Quercus robur fastigiata) to commemorate the start of their historical collaboration 40 years ago in 1974, under the supervision of A. David Smith in the Department of Pharmacology. The projects on the release of acetylcholinesterase from the adrenal medulla (Somogyi, Chubb & Smith 1975; Somogyi & Chubb 1976) led to continuing translational research programmes both in Australia by Ian Chubb and in Oxford by David Smith. Subsequent work eventually led to the approval by the MRC of setting up the Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit 30 years ago, in 1984.  The oak was kindly supplied by the University Parks Service. Such trees live for up to 500 years, which resonates well with the long-term research programmes and influence of the Unit. The budding oak also provides a fitting start for the new MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford from 2015 under the directorship of Peter Brown, Professor of Experimental Neurology at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.