Timothy Bliss

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Tim Bliss
Timothy Vivian Pelham Bliss

(1940-07-27) 27 July 1940 (age 83)[2]
EducationDean Close School
Alma materMcGill University
Scientific career

Timothy Vivian Pelham Bliss FRS (born 27 July 1940) is a British neuroscientist.[2] He is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, and a group leader emeritus at the Francis Crick Institute, London.

In 2016 Professor Tim Bliss shared with Professors Graham Collingridge and Richard Morris the 2016 Brain Prize, one of the world's most coveted science prizes.[3]


Born in England he was educated at Dean Close School and McGill University (BSc, 1963; PhD, 1967).[2] In 1967 he joined the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London, where he was Head of the Division of Neurophysiology from 1988 till 2006. His work with Terje Lømo in Per Andersen's laboratory at the University of Oslo in the late 1960s established the phenomenon of long-term potentiation (LTP) as the dominant synaptic model of how the mammalian brain stores memories.

Career and research[edit]

In 1973, he and Terje Lømo published[4] the first evidence of a Hebb-like synaptic plasticity event induced by brief tetanic stimulation, known as long-term potentiation (LTP).[5][6][7][8] His work has done much to provide a neural explanation for learning and memory. Studying the hippocampus – the memory centre of the brain – Tim showed that the strength of signals between neurons in the brain exhibits a long-term increase following brief but intense activation, a phenomenon known as long-term potentiation (LTP).[1]

Whilst LTP was discovered in Oslo in the lab of Per Andersen, Tim's subsequent research into the cellular properties of LTP and its relation to memory was conducted at London's National Institute for Medical Research where he worked from 1968 to 2006, becoming head of Neurosciences.[9] He is visiting professor at University College London.

Bliss is on the board of the Feldberg Foundation[10] and was trustee of Sir John Soane's Museum from 2004 to 2009.[11] From the years 2009 until 2013, Bliss worked as an adjunct professor in the South Korean university, Seoul National University.[12]

Awards and Honours[3][edit]

  • 1991 Bristol-Myers Squibb Award for Neuroscience (with E. Kandel)
  • 1994 Feldberg Prize
  • 1994 Fellow of the Royal Society
  • 1998 Founding Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • 2003 Annual Award for Contributions to British Neuroscience, British Neuroscience Society
  • 2012 Croonian Prize Lecture, Royal Society (this is the Society's principal lecture in the biological sciences, given annually since 1738)
  • 2013 Ipsen Prize for Neuronal Plasticity; Hon LlD Dalhousie University (with R. Morris and Y. Dudai)[13]
  • 2014 Hon DSc University of Hertfordshire
  • 2016 The Brain Prize, Lundbeck Foundation

Notable Contributions[edit]

Publications and Credits
Year Title Journal
1969 Lamellar Organization of Hippocampal Excitatory Pathways[14] Acta Physiologica Scandinavica
1970 Plasticity in a Monosynaptic Cortical Pathway[15] The Journal of Physiology
1971 Unit Analysis of Hippocampal Population Spikes[16] Experimental Brain Research
1971 Long-Lasting Increases of Synaptic Influence in the Unanesthetized Hippocampus[17] The Journal of Physiology
1971 Lamellar Organization of Hippocampal Pathways[18] Experimental Brain Research
1973 Long-Lasting Potentiation of Synaptic Transmission in the Dentate Area of the Anaesthetized Rabbit Following Stimulation of the Perforant Path[19][20] The Journal of Physiology
1979 Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus[21] Trends in Neurosciences


  1. ^ a b "Dr Timothy Bliss FMedSci FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

  2. ^ a b c "BLISS, Dr Timothy Vivian Pelham". Who's Who. Vol. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). Oxford: A & C Black. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ a b "Biography Timothy Bliss – Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation". thebrainprize.org. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  4. ^ Bliss, T. V.; Lomo, T (1973). "Long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission in the dentate area of the anaesthetized rabbit following stimulation of the perforant path". The Journal of Physiology. 232 (2): 331–56. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1973.sp010273. PMC 1350458. PMID 4727084.
  5. ^ Dolphin, A. C.; Errington, M. L.; Bliss, T. V. P. (1982). "Long-term potentiation of the perforant path in vivo is associated with increased glutamate release". Nature. 297 (5866): 496–497. Bibcode:1982Natur.297..496D. doi:10.1038/297496a0. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 6123949. S2CID 4255128.
  6. ^ Tim V. P. Bliss, Graham L. Collingridge, Richard G. Morris, Long-term potentiation: enhancing neuroscience for 30 years, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 978-0-19-853030-5
  7. ^ Per Andersen, Richard Morris, David Amaral, Tim Bliss and John O'Keefe (eds), The hippocampus book. Oxford University Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-510027-3
  8. ^ Bliss, T. V. P.; Collingridge, G. L. (1993). "A synaptic model of memory: Long-term potentiation in the hippocampus". Nature. 361 (6407): 31–39. Bibcode:1993Natur.361...31B. doi:10.1038/361031a0. PMID 8421494. S2CID 4326182.
  9. ^ The Committee Office, House of Commons. "House of Commons – Science and Technology Committee – Written Evidence". Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Board members of the Feldberg Foundation". Feldbergfoundation.org. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  11. ^ "Dr T V P Bliss, FRS Authorised Biography – Debrett's People of Today, Dr T V P Bliss, FRS Profile". www.debretts.co.uk. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Academy of Europe: Bliss Timothy". www.ae-info.org. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  13. ^ "Tim Bliss | The Lundbeck Foundation". lundbeckfonden.com. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  14. ^ Andersen, P; Bliss, TV; Lomo, T; Olsen, LI; Skrede, KK (May 1969). "Lamellar organization of hippocampal excitatory pathways". Acta Physiologica Scandinavica. 76 (1): 4A–5A. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1716.1969.tb04499.x. PMID 5823402. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  15. ^ Bliss, TV; Lomo, T (April 1970). "Plasticity in a monosynaptic cortical pathway". The Journal of Physiology. 207 (2): 61P. PMID 5511138. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  16. ^ Andersen, P.; Bliss, T. V. P.; Skrede, K. K. (1 August 1971). "Unit analysis of hippocampal population spikes". Experimental Brain Research. 13 (2): 208–221. doi:10.1007/BF00234086. PMID 5123965. S2CID 7160894. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  17. ^ Bliss, TV; Gardner-Medwin, AR (July 1971). "Long-lasting increases of synaptic influence in the unanesthetized hippocampus". The Journal of Physiology. 216 (1): 32P–33P. PMID 5558363. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  18. ^ Andersen, P; Bliss, TV; Skrede, KK (1971). "Lamellar organization of hippocampal pathways". Experimental Brain Research. 13 (2): 222–38. doi:10.1007/BF00234087. PMID 5570425. S2CID 12075886. Retrieved 28 November 2022.
  19. ^ Bliss, TV; Lomo, T (July 1973). "Long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission in the dentate area of the anaesthetized rabbit following stimulation of the perforant path". The Journal of Physiology. 232 (2): 331–56. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1973.sp010273. PMC 1350458. PMID 4727084. S2CID 2983008.
  20. ^ Bliss, TV; Gardner-Medwin, AR (July 1973). "Long-lasting potentiation of synaptic transmission in the dentate area of the unanaestetized rabbit following stimulation of the perforant path". The Journal of Physiology. 232 (2): 357–74. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.1973.sp010274. PMC 1350459. PMID 4727085. S2CID 21559512.
  21. ^ Bliss, T. V. P. (1 January 1979). "Synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus". Trends in Neurosciences. 2: 42–45. doi:10.1016/0166-2236(79)90019-5. S2CID 53151887. Retrieved 29 November 2022.