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Dr James Kolasinski

Dr James Kolasinski

Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow

School of Psychology


Research summary

My research is focused on the somatosensory and motor regions of the brain, specifically in understanding how these regions support dexterous function of the hand. My work takes advantage of a number of methods, including 7 tesla fMRI, MR spectroscopy, and behavioural psychophysics. I am particularly interested in integrating information across methods to better understand human brain physiology and how it relates to behaviour. I also have an interest in cortical plasticity in the healthy brain and post-stroke.

I am the Lead for Research Output and Impact at CUBRIC (Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre).

Potential interns, MSc, or PhD students are welcome to contact me to discuss on-going projects.

Teaching summary

Current teaching

Practical teaching, MSc Neuroimaging, Cardiff (PST506 The Body in the Brain)
Lecturer,  MSc Sleep Medicine, University of Oxford

Past teaching

2012 – 2014: College Lecturer in Medical Sciences, St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford


Undergraduate education

MA  (Oxon); Medical Sciences; Christ Church, University of Oxford (2008-2011)

Postgraduate education

DPhil (Oxon); Clinical  Neurosciences; Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford (2011-2014)
Thesis: Assessing sensorimotor plasticity in the human brain: a multi-modal magnetic resonance imaging approach. Supervisors: Prof. H. Johansen-Berg and Dr C.J. Stagg.

von Clemm Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University (2011-2012)Lab: Laboratory for Computational Neuroimaging,  Martinos Center, Mass. General Hospital. Supervisors: Dr Lilla Zöllei, Prof. Ellen Grant & Prof. Bruce Fischl


Junior Research Fellow; Oxford Centre for fMRI of the  Brain (2014-2017)

Honours and awards

  • Organisation for Human Brain Mapping; Merit Abstract Award. (2017).
  • Society for Neuroscience Travel Award, Guarantors of Brain. (2014).
  • Lippman-Kessel Prize, Best Scientific Paper, BESS Conference. (2014).
  • Beaufort Scholarship for Academic Excellence. University of Oxford. (2013).
  • Apollo Bursary for Academic Excellence, University of Oxford. (2009).










  • Wellcome Trust; Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. £250,000 (2017-2021).
  • Medical Research Fund; Early Career Seed Funding; University of Oxford. £6250 (2016-2017).
  • Anglo-Japanese Collaboration Grant; Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. £3200 (2016-2017).
  • UK/USA High Powered Computing Travelling Fellowship, EPSRC. £2500 (2015).
  • Junior Research Fellowship, University College, Oxford. (2014-2017).
  • von Clemm Fellowship, Harvard University. $68,000. (2011).
  • Martin  Wronker/Cephalosporin DPhil Studentship, University of Oxford. £45,000 (2011).

Research collaborators

  • Dr Adam Thomas, Section on Functional Imaging Methods, NIMH, USA
  • Dr Charlotte Stagg, Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity, University of Oxford, UK
  • Prof Heidi Johansen-Berg, Oxford Centre for fMRI of the Brain, University of Oxford, UK

Media activities

TV appearances

2017: “Secrets of the Brain”, Lambent Productions for  Insight TV
2016: “The Professionals”, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

Public engagement

Workshop Organiser; UNIQ Summer Schools, University of Oxford (2015-2016).
Workshop Organiser; Pathways to Medicine Programme; University of Oxford (2014-2015).


Postgraduate research interests

If you are interested in applying for a PhD, or for further information regarding my postgraduate research, please contact me directly (contact details available on the 'Overview' page), or submit a formal application.

Past projects

Previous students

2016/2017: Mr. Dan Manners; BA Medical Sciences, University of Oxford.
2015/2016: Mr. John Logan; BA Medical Sciences, University of Oxford.
2015: Mr. Daan Wesselink; MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Groningen.
2014/2015: Mr. Dinant Riks; MSc in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, University of Mastricht.
2014/2015: Mr. Amir Puyan Divanbeighi Zand; BA Medical  Sciences, University of Oxford.
2014: Mr. Piere Vila; BM BCh Special Study Module, University of Oxford.