Imperial College London

Professor Nick Franks, FRS

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Biophysics and Anaesthetics



+44 (0)20 7594 7629n.franks Website




401ASir Ernst Chain BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





My central research interest is in understanding how general anaesthetics act. I have worked on this problem mainly at the molecular and cellular levels but more recently I have become interested in how anaesthetics act at the level of neuronal networks and have been pursuing the possibility that the sedative and hypnotic actions of general anaesthetics may be mediated through the same neuronal pathways that control natural sleep. 

My laboratory is merged with that of Bill Wisden and our joint website can be found here: franks-wisden-lab.

My publications from Google Scholar

My profile from ORCID

Current Group members

Nick and BillWei and RaquelKyoko and GiuliaYing and LedaBerta and DavidEd and ChrisEd and XiaoBryan and Mathieu



Lily, Alessandro and Chris

Rowan,Valentina,FabiaCigdem, Ed and Rowan



Campos-Pires R, Onggradito H, Ujvari E, et al., 2020, Xenon treatment after severe traumatic brain injury improves locomotor outcome, reduces acute neuronal loss and enhances early beneficial neuroinflammation: a randomized, blinded, controlled animal study, Critical Care (uk), Vol:24, ISSN:1364-8535, Pages:1-18

Miracca G, Soto BA, Tossell K, et al., 2020, Hypothalamic NMDA receptors stabilize NREM sleep and are essential for REM sleep

Tossell K, Yu X, Soto BA, et al., 2020, Sleep deprivation triggers somatostatin neurons in prefrontal cortex to initiate nesting and sleep via the preoptic and lateral hypothalamus

Yu X, Ba W, Zhao G, et al., 2020, Dysfunction of ventral tegmental area GABA neurons causes mania-like behavior., Molecular Psychiatry, ISSN:1359-4184


Lignos L, Nollet M, Wisden W, et al., 2020, Does sleep deprivation cause stress in mice? A comparison of gentle handling versus novel object presentation sleep deprivation methods, 25th Congress of the European-Sleep-Research-Society (ESRS), WILEY, Pages:195-196, ISSN:0962-1105

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