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



Franks NP, Wisden W, 2021, The inescapable drive to sleep: Overlapping mechanisms of sleep and sedation, Science, Vol:374, ISSN:0036-8075, Pages:556-559

Harding EC, Ba W, Zahir R, et al., 2021, Nitric oxide synthase neurons in the preoptic hypothalamus are NREM and REM sleep-active and lower body temperature, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Vol:15, ISSN:1662-453X

Yu X, Ba W, Zhao G, et al., 2021, Dysfunction of ventral tegmental area GABA neurons causes mania-like behavior, Molecular Psychiatry, Vol:26, ISSN:1359-4184, Pages:5213-5228


Pires RC, Macdonald W, Edge CJ, et al., 2021, Xenon prevents neuroinflammation in a novel model of blast traumatic brain injury in rats, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, Pages:947-947, ISSN:0003-2999

Pires RC, Mohamed-Ali N, Aldhoun J, et al., 2021, Moderate hypothermia combined with xenon, but not hypothermia alone, reduces secondary injury development after traumatic brain injury in rats, LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS, Pages:946-946, ISSN:0003-2999

More Publications