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Irene Tracey

Professor Irene Tracey is currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, her alma mater. She is also Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience in the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.
Until recently she was also Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences – a 550-person merged department of scientists and clinicians drawn from the former departments of neurology, ophthalmology and anaesthetics. Over the past 25 years her multidisciplinary research team has contributed to a better understanding of pain perception, pain relief and nociceptive processing within the injured and non-injured human central nervous system using advanced neuroimaging techniques and novel paradigm designs. They have also been investigating the neural basis of altered states of consciousness induced by anaesthetic agents. Her work has both discovery and translational elements and has contributed to a fundamental change in how we view pain as an emergent experience not simply related to nociceptive inputs.
She is a passionate advocate for women in science and is involved in several mentorship schemes.

Series featuring Irene Tracey

  • Medical Sciences
  • Women in Medical Science
  • Big Questions - with Oxford Sparks
  • Career Equality Talks
  • Alumni Weekend
  • Inside Oxford Science
  • Interviews with Oxonians
  • The Ockham Lecture - The Merton College Physics Lecture
  • CortexCast - A Neuroscience Podcast
  • Fire and Wire
  • The Disability Lectures
# Episode Title Description People Date
17 Creative Commons 2024 Disability Lecture: Changing the disability narrative - from unseen to understood Oxford and Harvard alumna Beth Kume-Holland shares her personal journey from Oxford undergraduate and researcher to award-winning CEO and international disability rights advocate. Beth Kume-Holland, Sarah Stephenson-Hunter, Irene Tracey 16 May 2024
16 Oxford women making a global impact This International Women's Day (8 March), Professor Irene Tracey sat down with women from across the University who are making a global impact with their work. Irene Tracey, Kokila Lakhoo, Isang Awah, Katrina Charles 09 Apr 2024
15 Innovation and spinouts Mairi Gibbs, Chief Operating Officer at Oxford University Innovation and Lilly Bussmann, Principal at Oxford Science Enterprises, join Professor Irene Tracey for the latest podcast in this series to discuss innovation at Oxford. Irene Tracey, Mairi Gibbs, Lilly Bussmann 02 Feb 2024
14 Fire and Wire in the Garden Irene speaks to Dr Chris Thorogood, the Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden, about the past, present and future of this extraordinary institution. Irene Tracey, Chris Thorogood 02 Feb 2024
13 Wellbeing in the workplace Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Director of Oxford's Wellbeing Research Centre, speaks to Irene about why wellbeing matters in the workplace. He also discusses some of the latest research findings coming out of the Wellbeing Research Centre. Irene Tracey, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve 02 Feb 2024
12 Women in STEM Irene speaks to DPhil student Misha Patel and  Professor Sonia Antoranz Contera . They touch on their pathways into science as women, the importance of networks and what direction their work will take next. Irene Tracey, Misha Patel, Sonia Antoranz Contera 02 Feb 2024
11 This Might Hurt - Irene Tracey We discuss the Neuroscience of Pain perception Irene Tracey, Paula Kaanders, Lukas Krone, Alex von Klemperer 02 Jan 2020
10 The 26th Ockham Lecture - From Neurons to Perception: How Physics Opened the Black Box A lecture given by Professor Irene Tracey, Nuffield Chair of Anaesthetic Science and Head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, and Warden-elect of Merton College. Irene Tracey 28 Mar 2018
9 "Anomalies" Part 3 - Placebos and pain Professor Irene Tracey explains the placebo effect and how it is a normal part of our pain system. Irene Tracey, Chris Lintott 10 Feb 2015
8 Creative Commons Irene Tracey: Women in Science Irene Tracey is the co-founder and director of the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) Irene Tracey 10 Dec 2014
7 Creative Commons Irene Tracey: Women in Science Irene Tracey gives a passionate insight into her career and how she balances work and life. As she puts it 'A scientific career is not an easy one to choose: it’s tough and competitive'. Irene Tracey 08 Apr 2014
6 Creative Commons Understanding human pain, suffering and relief through brain imaging Professor Irene Tracey talks about her research into pain through using brain imaging technology to see exactly how the brain is affected by pain while discussing its implications to how we understand pain in society. Irene Tracey 09 Nov 2009
5 Creative Commons Understanding human pain, suffering and relief through brain imaging Using examples from her research, Professor Tracey illustrates some of the exciting developments in brain imaging -seeing exactly how the brain is affected by its environment-and discusses how this research impacts on modern medicine, law and society. Irene Tracey 28 Oct 2009
4 Dark Matter and Architecture in Science In the second edition of Inside Oxford Science Pedro explores dark matter and cosmic voids whilst Marcus leads a debate on whether great architecture can inspire great science. Marcus du Sautoy, Irene Tracey, Chris Lintott, Pedro Ferreira 14 Apr 2009
3 Synaesthesia and Citizen Science Part one. The team examines the neurological condition synaesthesia and the recent Oxford study which sheds light on its genetic basis. Also explored is Galaxy Zoo, an innovative Oxford project which asks the public to help classify galaxies. Marcus du Sautoy, Irene Tracey, Chris Lintott, Pedro Ferreira 02 Mar 2009
2 Irene Tracey on FMRI and Pain Professor Irene Tracey, director of the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, explains how MRI works and then talks about her research into people's perception of pain. Irene Tracey, Oliver Lewis 12 Sep 2008
1 Irene Tracey on FMRI and Pain Professor Irene Tracey, director of the Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain, explains how MRI works and then talks about her research into people’s perception of pain. Irene Tracey, Oliver Lewis 12 Sep 2008