UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Prof Maria Thom

Maria Thom, Honorary Consultant and Professor of Neuropathology

Maria Thom is an Academic Neuropathologist with a diagnostic and research interest in epilepsy. Common epilepsy-related pathologies studied include hippocampal sclerosis and cortical dysplasias, utilising surgical and post-mortem tissue samples in the established Epilepsy Tissue Bank within the department. The core aims are to investigate disease biomarkers in tissue samples, that are either a cause or effect of seizures, that can be translated into clinical and diagnostic practice. Active projects include the investigation  of neuronal and glial regeneration and degeneration in temporal lobe epilepsy (funded by MRC) and patho-mechanisms in Sudden and Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) (funded by CURE). Dr. Thom is a member of the ILAEs (International League Against Epilepsy) commission on diagnostic methods in epilepsy since 2009.

Epilepsy Tissue Bank (based at UCL, Institute of Neurology)

The Epilepsy Tissue Bank comprises an archive of tissue collected from patients with epilepsy. It includes surgical tissues from patients who have undergone epilepsy surgery and donated their tissue for research as well as post-mortem specimens donated from patients with epilepsy,  with an archive totalling over 600 cases. This comprises a variety of pathologies, particularly from patients with temporal lobe epilepsy, including cortical dysplasias, hippocampal sclerosis, low grade tumours, as well as degenerative and rare pathologies. This tissue bank has enables the study disease processes operating in human epilepsy, providing tissue for molecular, genetic, cell-electrophysiology as well as histological studies, in an aim to identify causes and potential new treatment targets in epilepsy.

We receive brains and tissue from patients who wish to donate their tissue for epilepsy research. For further information regarding tissue donation, please contact M.Thom@ucl.ac.uk or ion.neuropathology@ucl.ac.uk.