Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders

Head of Department: Professor Linda Greensmith


Latest departmental news:

Optical-control of muscle function by transplantation of stem cell-derived motor neurons in mice.

J. Barney Bryson, Carolina Barcellos Machado, Martin Crossley, Danielle Stevenson, Virginie Bros-Facer, Juan Burrone, Linda Greensmith, Ivo Lieberam. Science 344, 94-97 (2014).


The Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders is in the unique position of pursuing research in basic neuroscience that is of direct translational benefit to neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, stroke, motor neurone disease, peripheral nerve disorders and spinal cord injury. Our Research Groups use a powerful combination of modern non-invasive research technology, theoretical and computational approaches and a variety of cellular, animal and human models to explore how the brain controls normal movement, and how disease leads to disordered control of movement.

Current clinical research programmes involve TMS, repetitive TMS, EEG, MEG, fMRI and structural MRI (VBM, DTI), while translational programmes include use of cell culture, molecular biology and transgenic approaches. We have a strong interest in the cognitive aspects of motor control, including brain mechanisms of decision making and response selection. This is supported by sophisticated neurophysiological techniques for the monitoring of large populations neurons in active brain networks. We have numerous collaborative scientific and clinical research links across the Institute of Neurology, UCL and particularly strong links with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

The Department also includes the Unit of Functional Neurosurgery, which leads research and clinical treatment of Parkinson’s disease, dystonia and a number of other disorders using Deep Brain Stimulation and recording.

The Department offers excellent training in research for clinical and non-clinical students wishing to obtain higher degrees. We have excellent well-funded and modern multidisciplinary facilities for studying cellular and animal models, human volunteers and patients with neurological disorders.

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