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Dr. Kevin Mitchell

Assoc Prof in Developmental Neurobiolo (Genetics)

The Senior Lecturer (Faculty Office : FEMS)

The Senior Lecturer (Trinity Inst. of Neurosciences (TCIN))

Kevin Mitchell is a graduate of the Genetics Department, Trinity College Dublin (B.A., Mod. 1991) and received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley (1997), where he studied nervous system development with Prof. Corey Goodman. He did postdoctoral research with Prof. Marc Tessier-Lavigne at Stanford University, using molecular genetics to study neural development in the mouse. Since 2002 he has been on the faculty at Trinity College Dublin as a Science Foundation Ireland Investigator and now as Associate Professor in Genetics and Neuroscience. He was an EMBO Young Investigator and was elected to Fellowship of Trinity College in 2009. He is Associate Director of Undergraduate Science Education at Trinity College Dublin and is currently leading a re-imagining of the TCD science courses. This aims to rationalise and modernise the curriculum, introduce greater flexibility and breadth while maintaining a strong programmatic focus, and facilitate effective innovation in delivery and assessment methods. His research interests are in understanding the genetic program specifying the wiring of the brain and its relevance to variation in human faculties, especially to psychiatric and neurological disease. He is particularly interested in schizophrenia, autism and synaesthesia. His group has discovered numerous genes involved in specifying neuronal connectivity in the developing brain and shown that mutations in such genes in mice can lead to neurological and behavioural symptoms, modelling aspects of epilepsy, psychosis and ADHD. His cross-disciplinary work on synaesthesia has helped shape the understanding of the genetic, developmental and neural basis of this unique perceptual condition. He is also a leading scholar in the genetics of neurodevelopmental disorders, having made numerous theoretical contributions and recently edited a book on the subject. The over-arching goal of his work is to help develop and promote a coherent conceptual framework in which to integrate findings from diverse fields, particularly genetics, developmental biology and neuroscience. This strategy is manifested in his cross-disciplinary experimental research and scholarship, as described above, but also in his teaching, conference organising, blogging, editing and other writing. He has developed multiple courses in the emerging, integrative field of Neurogenetics, delivered to undergraduates in both Genetics and Neuroscience at TCD. He is the lead organiser of the inter-disciplinary and international Wiring the Brain conference, held in 2009 and 2011 in Ireland and from 2013 onwards, every two years, as an on-going series at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. He is an active communicator on Twitter (@WiringtheBrain) and writes a popular blog on the intersection of genetics, development, neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry ( He also regularly gives public lectures and media interviews on diverse topics, with the goal of promoting public understanding of neuroscience and genetics. He is currently working on a book entitled "Born that Way; how the wiring of our brains makes us all unique", which will be published by Princeton University Press (contracted for delivery in June 2017). It will provide an integrative conceptual framework in which to consider the origins of variation in human faculties, through a novel synthesis of findings from behavioural genetics, developmental neurobiology, neuroscience and psychology.
 Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Grant
 Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Grant
 Health Research Board Project Grant
 Science Foundation Ireland Research Frontiers Grant
 Wellcome Trust Project Grant

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Mitchell, K.J., Neurogenomics â€" towards a more rigorous science, European Journal of Neuroscience, 47, (2), 2018, p109-114 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Mitchell, K.J., Revealing the Genetic Instructions for Nervous System Wiring, Trends in Neurosciences, 41, (7), 2018, p407-409 , Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Mitchell, K.J., Does Neuroscience Leave Room for Free Will?, Trends in Neurosciences, 41, (9), 2018, p573-576 , Notes: [cited By 0; Article in Press], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Farina F.R, Mitchell K.J, Roche R.A.P, Molholm S, Synaesthesia lost and found: two cases of person- and music-colour synaesthesia, European Journal of Neuroscience, 45, (3), 2017, p472 - 477, Notes: [Export Date: 3 April 2017], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
O'Tuathaigh C.M.P, Fumagalli F, Desbonnet L, Perez-Branguli F, Moloney G, Loftus S, O'Leary C, Petit E, Cox R, Tighe O, Clarke G, Lai D, Harvey R.P, Cryan J.F, Mitchell K.J, Dinan T.G, Riva M.A, Waddington J.L, Epistatic and independent effects on schizophrenia-related phenotypes following co-disruption of the risk factors Neuregulin-1 Ã- DISC1, Schizophrenia Bulletin, 43, (1), 2017, p214 - 225, Notes: [Export Date: 3 April 2017], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
HÃ¥kansson K, Runker A.E, O'Sullivan G.J, Mitchell K.J, Waddington J.L, O'Tuathaigh C.M.P, Semaphorin 6A knockout mice display abnormalities across ethologically-based topographies of exploration and in motor learning, Neuroscience Letters, 641, 2017, p70 - 76, Notes: [Export Date: 3 April 2017], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Bibollet-Bahena, Olivia and Okafuji, Tatsuya and Hokamp, Karsten and Tear, Guy and Mitchell, Kevin J, A dual-strategy expression screen for candidate connectivity labels in the developing thalamus, PloS one, 12, (5), 2017, pe0177977 , Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Mitsogiannis, M.D. and Little, G.E. and Mitchell, K.J., Semaphorin-Plexin signaling influences early ventral telencephalic development and thalamocortical axon guidance, Neural Development, 12, (1), 2017, p6-, Notes: [cited By 0], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI
Perez-Branguli F, Zagar Y, Shanley D.K, Graef I.A, Chédotal A, Mitchell K.J, Reverse signaling by semaphorin-6A regulates cellular aggregation and neuronal morphology, PLoS ONE, 11, (7), 2016, p015868-, Notes: [Cited By :1 Export Date: 3 April 2017], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Cate M.-S, Gajendra S, Alsbury S, Raabe T, Tear G, Mitchell K.J, Mushroom body defect is required in parallel to netrin for midline axon guidance in Drosophila, Development (Cambridge), 143, (6), 2016, p972 - 977, Notes: [Export Date: 3 April 2017], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL

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Finucane C, Corvin A, Newell FN, Mitchell KJ, Synaesthesia in the Irish population: Phenotypic characteristics and familiality, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL GENETICS PART B-NEUROPSYCHIATRIC GENETICS, SEP 15, 130B, (1), 2004, pp60 - 60, Meeting Abstract, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics, 2004, -, Notes: [On the local organising committee for the World Congress of Psychiatric Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, 2004], Miscellaneous, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., Genetics Department, Cambridge University, January, 2003, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., At symposium 'Wiring the Brain', Edinburgh University , April , 2003, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., Department of Anatomy and Human Genetics , Oxford University , May, 2003, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., Symposium on Genomics and Proteomics, University College Dublin , June, 2003, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., Biology Society seminar series, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Nov, 2003, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King"s College, London, July , 2002, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J., Zoology Department, Trinity College Dublin, Oct. , 2002, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
Mitchell, K.J, Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre, St. James"s Hospital, Dublin , Nov. , 2002, Invited Talk, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Summer Scholarship from the American Ireland Fund 1990
National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship 1992 - 1995
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship 1998
Jane Coffin Childs Fund for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellowship 1998 - 2001
Wellcome Trust grant to fund the international conference 'Life and Death of the Brain' held in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. 1999
Science Foundation Ireland Investigator Grant (€1,690,000/ five years 2002-2007
EMBO Young Investigator Programme Award 2004
2003-2005 Health Research Board Programme Grant (€164,000/ three years) 2003 - 2005
Election to Fellowship, Trinity College Dublin 2009
Appointed as Affiliate Member, MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, King's College London 2010