Professor Rodney Douglas is an outstanding neuroscientist who spearheaded major advances in his field. The UCT alumnus has revolutionised the understanding of cerebral cortex functioning through anatomical and computational studies of the visual cortex. He is also recognised for his ability to combine skilled bench work with computational and theoretical approaches, based on emerging technologies. One of his most notable developments was the "canonical microcircuit": a fundamental functional microcircuit of the visual cortex that he and colleagues established. Douglas also developed software, available in the public domain, to assist neuroscientists unravel patterns of synaptic connectivity in brain tissue. In addition, he has launched many careers in neuroscience, having supervised over 40 PhD graduates.