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Lucia Prieto-Godino, Ph.D.

Francis Crick Institute


Dr. Prieto-Godino is a Group Leader at Francis Crick Institute, leading the Neural circuits and evolution lab, which focuses in understanding the genetic, developmental and circuit mechanisms underlying brain evolution. Her lab employs a multidisciplinary approach, combining comparative connectomics, functional imaging, genetic manipulation of non-model organisms, single cell transcriptomics, optogenetics, behaviour, bio-informatics, sensory ecology and evolutionary tools, including field work. Through her research, she has uncovered fundamental principles in neural circuit function and evolution, including the discovery of neuronally regulated stop codon readthrough, the role of single nucleotide changes in the evolution of olfactory receptors, and rules of circuit rewiring within and across species.

In addition, Dr. Prieto-Godino has developed technical tools and educational programmes to increase the global capacity for scientific research, including open hardware tools for imaging and behavioural analysis. She is also the founding director of a non-profit organisation devoted to promote scientific research and education in the African continent (

Dr. Prieto-Godino scientific and outreach contributions have been widely recognised through multiple awards, including the FENS Young Investigator Prize, the L’Oreal UNESCO FWIS Fellowship, the NEB passion in science award and the Woman of the Future award, among others. She is also an elected scholar of the FENS-Kavli Network of Excellence.

Dr. Prieto-Godino obtained her B.A. from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain), where she trained in the Polavieja lab. After an exchange at the University of Lund (Sweden), working in the Nilson lab on box jelly fish visual ecology, she joined Bate’s group at the University of Cambridge (UK) for her Ph.D., studying the development of neural circuits in Drosophila embryos. She next obtained a FEBS fellowship and moved to the Benton lab, at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) for her postdoctoral work on the evolution of olfactory circuits across Drosophilids. She went back to the UK to start her group at The Francis Crick Institute in 2018.

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