Professor Geoffrey Goodhill


Queensland Brain Institute


Faculty of Science
+61 7 334 66431


Professor Goodhill's lab is interested in how brains process information, particularly during development. This includes how growing nerve fibres use molecular cues to make guidance decisions, how map-like representations of visual inputs form in the optic tectum and visual cortex, and how these maps code sensory information. We are addressing these questions using a combination of mathematical, experimental and computational techniques. Members of the lab come from diverse backgrounds including biology, mathematics, physics and computer science.

Professor Goodhill did a Joint Honours BSc in Mathematics and Physics at Bristol University (UK), followed by an MSc in Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University and a PhD in Cognitive Science at Sussex University. Following a postdoc at Edinburgh University he moved to the USA in 1994, where he did further postdoctoral study in Computational Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Professor Goodhill formed his own lab at Georgetown University in 1996, where he was awarded tenure in the Department of Neuroscience in 2001. In 2005 he moved to a joint appointment between the Queensland Brain Institute and the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Queensland. Since then he has been awarded 5 ARC Discovery grants, 6 NHMRC Project grants, 2 ARC/NHMRC "Thinking Systems" grants, and an HFSP Program grant.


  • Master of Information Technolohy, University of Edinburgh
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sussex
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Bristol


  • Bicknell, Brendan A. and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2016) Emergence of ion channel modal gating from independent subunit kinetics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113 36: E5288-E5297. doi:10.1073/pnas.1604090113

  • Cloherty, Shaun L., Hughes, Nicholas J., Hietanen, Markus A., Bhagavatula, Partha S., Goodhill, Geoffrey J. and Ibbotson, Michael R. (2016) Sensory experience modifies feature map relationships in visual cortex. eLife, 5 JUN2016: . doi:10.7554/eLife.13911

  • Avitan, Lilach, Pujic, Zac, Hughes, Nicholas J., Scott, Ethan K. and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2016) Limitations of neural map topography for decoding spatial information. Journal of Neuroscience, 36 19: 5385-5396. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0385-16.2016

  • Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2016) Can molecular gradients wire the brain?. Trends in Neurosciences, 39 4: 202-211. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2016.01.009

  • Bicknell, Brendan A., Dayan, Peter and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2015) The limits of chemosensation vary across dimensions. Nature Communications, 6 7468: 1-8. doi:10.1038/ncomms8468

  • Goodhill, Geoffrey J., Faville, Richard A., Sutherland, Daniel J., Bicknell, Brendan A., Thompson, Andrew W., Pujic, Zac, Sun, Biao, Kita, Elizabeth M. and Scott, Ethan K. (2015) The dynamics of growth cone morphology. BMC Biology, 13 10: 1-16. doi:10.1186/s12915-015-0115-7

  • Suarez, Rodrigo, Fenlon, Laura R., Marek, Roger, Avitan, Lilach A, Sah, Pankaj, Goodhill, Geoffrey J. and Richards, Linda J. (2014) Balanced interhemispheric cortical activity is required for correct targeting of the corpus callosum. Neuron, 82 6: 1289-1298. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.04.040

  • Sutherland, Daniel J., Pujic, Zac and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2014) Calcium signaling in axon guidance. Trends in Neurosciences, 37 8: 424-432. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2014.05.008

  • Forbes, Elizabeth M., Thompson, Andrew W., Yuan, Jiajia and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2012) Calcium and cAMP levels interact to determine attraction versus repulsion in axon guidance. Neuron, 74 3: 490-503. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2012.02.035

  • Mortimer, D., Pujic, Z., Vaughan, T., Thompson, A. W., Feldner, J., Vetter, I. and Goodhill, G. J. (2010) Axon guidance by growth-rate modulation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 11: 5202-5207. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909254107

  • Mortimer, Duncan, Feldner, Julia, Vaughan, Timothy, Vetter, Irina, Pujic, Zac, Rosoff, William J., Burrage, Kevin, Dayan, Peter, Richards, Linda J. and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2009) A Bayesian model predicts the response of axons to molecular gradients. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106 25: 10296-10301. doi:10.1073/pnas.0900715106

  • Mortimer, Duncan, Fothergill, Thomas, Pujic, Zac, Richards, Linda J. and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2008) Growth cone chemotaxis. Trends in Neurosciences, 31 2: 90-98. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2007.11.008

  • Goodhill, G. J. (2007) Contributions of theoretical modeling to the understanding of neural map development. Neuron, 56 2: 301-311. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2007.09.027

  • Rosoff, W. J., Urbach, J. S., Esrick, M. A., McAllister, R. G., Richards, L. J. and Goodhill, G. J. (2004) A new chemotaxis assay shows the extreme sensitivity of axons to molecular gradients. Nature Neuroscience, 7 6: 678-682. doi:10.1038/nn1259

View all Publications


View all Grants


  • (2018) Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2018) Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Pujic, Zac, Nguyen, Huyen, Glass, Nick, Cooper-White, Justin and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2016). Axon guidance studies using a microfluidics-based chemotropic gradient generator. In 2nd (Ed.), Chemotaxis: methods and protocols (pp. 273-285) New York, NY United States: Springer New York. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-3480-5_20

  • Mortimer, Duncan, Simpson, Hugh D. and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2012). Axonal growth and targeting. In Nicolas Le Novère (Ed.), Computational systems neurobiology (pp. 429-458) Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.

  • Mortimer, D. and Goodhill, G. J. (2009). Axonal Pathfinding. In Marc D. Binder, Nobutaka Hirokawa and Uwe Windhorst (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (pp. 1133-1138) Berlin, Germany: Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/B978-008045046-9.01412-1

  • Rosoff, William J., McAllister, Ryan G., Goodhill, Geoffrey J. and Urbach, Jeffrey S. (2009). Quantitative studies of neuronal chemotaxis in 3D. In Tian Jin and Dale Hereld (Ed.), Chemotaxis: methods and protocols (pp. 239-254) New York, United States: Humana Press. doi:10.1007/978-1-60761-198-1

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Huang, Jackson Y., Hughes, Nicholas J. and Goodhill, Geoffrey J. (2016). Segmenting neuronal growth cones using deep convolutional neural networks. In: Alan Wee-Chung Liew, Brian Lovell, Clinton Fookes, Jun Zhou, Yongsheng Gao, Michael Blumstein and Zhiyong Wang, 2016 International Conference On Digital Image Computing: Techniques and Applications (DICTA). International Conference on Digital Image Computing - Techniques and Applications (DICTA), Gold Coast, Australia, (93-99). 30 November-2 December 2016. doi:10.1109/DICTA.2016.7797081

  • Goodhill, Geoff (2012). Computational models of map development in visual cortex. In: Abstracts of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists 44th Annual Scientific Congress. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists 44th Annual Scientific Congress, Melbourne, Australia, (125-125). 24-28 November 2012. doi:10.1111/ceo.12011

  • Carreira-Perpinan, M., Dayan, P. and Goodhill, G. J. (2005). Differential Priors for Elastic Nets. In: M. Gallagher, J. Hogan and F. Maire, Lecture Notes in Computer Science: Intelligent Data Engineering and Automated Learning - IDEAL 2005. IDEAL 2005, Brisbane Australia, (335-342). July 6-8. doi:10.1007/11508069_44

  • Urbach, JS and Goodhill, GJ (1999). Limitations on detection of gradients of diffusible chemicals by axone. In: Computational Neuroscience. 7th Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting (CNS 98), Santa Barbara Ca, (39-43). Jul, 1998.

  • Goodhill, GJ (1998). A mathematical model of axon guidance by diffusible factors. In: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 10. 11th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), Denver Co, (159-165). Dec 01-06, 1997.

  • Goodhill, GJ and Sejnowski, TJ (1997). Objective functions for topography: A comparison of optimal maps. In: 4Th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop, London, 9-11 April 1997. 4th Neural Computation and Psychology Workshop (NCPW4), London England, (73-83). Apr 09-11, 1997.

  • Goodhill, GJ, Finch, S and Sejnowski, TJ (1996). Optimizing cortical mappings. In: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 8. 9th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), Denver Co, (330-336). Nov 27-30, 1995.

  • Goodhill, GJ and Sejnowski, TJ (1996). Quantifying neighbourhood preservation in topographic mappings. In: Proceedings of the 3Rd Joint Symposium On Neural Computation, Vol 6. 3rd Joint Symposium on Neural Computation, La Jolla Ca, (61-82). Jun 01, 1996.

  • Zamoraramos, C and Goodhill, GJ (1994). A Neural Computation - Spatial to Temporal Transformation. In: Information Processing Underlying Gaze Control. Satellite Workshop on Information Processing Underlying Gaze Control, at the 16th European-Neuroscience-Association Meeting, Seville Spain, (125-137). Sep 22-24, 1993.

  • Dayan, P and Goodhill, G (1992). Perturbing Hebbian Rules. In: Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 4. 5Th Conf On Neural Information Processing Systems - Natural and Synthetic ( Nips-91 ), Denver Co, (19-26). Dec 02-05, 1991.

  • Goodhill, G (1991). Topography and Ocular Dominance Can Arise From Distributed Patterns of Activity. In: Ijcnn-91-Seattle : International Joint Conference On Neural Networks, Vols 1 and 2. International Joint Conf On Neural Networks ( Ijcnn-91-Seattle ), Seattle Wa, (B623-B627). Jul 08-12, 1991.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.