The Division of Developmental Neurobiology was founded in 2000 under the leadership of Professor Andrew Lumsden as part of the School of Biomedical Sciences at King's College London. Initially a 5-year partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and King's College London, it was intended to promote research in this rapidly expanding area of neuroscience and advance our understanding of brain development through a large variety of model organisms (worm, fruit fly, frog, zebrafish, chicken and mouse). It soon became known as the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology with Professor Andrew Lumsden as Director. The Centre was to occupy the entire fourth floor of New Hunt's House, a new research, library and teaching building on the Guy's Hospital Campus of King's College London.

During the next decade, researchers in the Centre investigated early brain development by combining gene discovery with functional analyses at molecular, biochemical, cell biological, anatomical, and physiological levels. The Centre gathered the expertise of specialists from a wide range of disciplines and focused their research on this mission.

In 2005 and again in 2010, the Division renewed its 5-year partnership with the MRC, even though Centres are typically only funded for 10 years. Over this period, the Centre grew to comprise nearly thirty laboratories and 150 scientists, students, and staff working on the development of the nervous system.

In 2012, Professor Andrew Lumsden stepped down as Head of the Division of Developmental Neurobiology, and Professor Corinne Houart was appointed as Acting Head of Division with the mandate to lead the recruitment of a new Director for the Centre.

In July 2014, Professor Oscar Marín was appointed as new Head of the Division of Developmental Neurobiology and Director of the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology. His vision for the Centre included strengthening the links between neural development and the emergence of brain function, and advancing our understanding of neurological and psychiatric disorders that are caused by abnormal brain development.

In September 2014, the Centre, along with the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, was integrated with the Division of Neuroscience within the newly formed Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). As part of the restructuring, former Divisions became Departments under the IoPPN. In parallel, the Centre took new laboratory space in the Hodgkin building within Guy's campus, where some laboratories relocated.

In March 2016, the partnership between the Centre and the Medical Research Council was renewed with a new configuration. Together with clinical researchers in other Departments at King’s, scientists at the Centre for Developmental Neurobiology will establish the MRC Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Under the leadership of Professor Oscar Marín, this new MRC Centre will investigate the disease mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders such us epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia. In parallel, we will continue to push the frontiers of knowledge on the basic mechanisms controlling the development of nervous system, for which our Centre has became internationally renowned as a leader in developmental neuroscience.