Visitors should report to the security front desk in Queen Square House (Institute of Neurology), the 11-storey tower block on the north corner of Queen Square.

Contact Details

Division of Neuropathology, Box 126
UCL Institute of Neurology
The National Hospital For Neurology and Neurosurgery
Queen Square
London WC1N 3BG

Telephone: 020 344 84234
Fax: 020 344 84486

For patient related enquiries:

Laboratory enquiries:
020 344 84236

Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre:
020 344 84235

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Prof. Sebastian Brandner (Head of Division)

Diagnostic Service 

Molecular Neuro-Oncology: I provide a comprehensive Neuro-oncology service for the National Hospital (more than 200 tests annually) and for referring Hospitals (more than 200 tests p.a.). We routinely perform tests for LOH1p/19q, EGFR amplification, IDH mutation (immunohistochemical detection and sequencing) and other markers that are relevant for the prognosis of high grade gliomas, (LOH10q, PDGFRa, LOH NF1) and MGMT Promoter methylation. We test for the KIAA:BRAF fusion transcript and the V600E mutation, which have diagnostic and prognostic relevance for pilocytic astrocytomas, and other low grade glial tumours of the nervous system (read more on molecular pathology tests).

Diagnostic Neuro-oncology: In rotation with all other consultants in the department, we diagnose all surgical Neuropathology in the Department. We diagnose more than 1100 brain tumours and pituitary adenomas every year. All consultants in the department have the expertise to diagnose common and rare brain cancers and other surgical neuropathology cases. Soft tissue and haematological malignancies are routinely referred for expert second opinion.

Prion disease: In close cooperation with the National Prion Clinic and the MRC Prion Unit I carry out ca 50 post mortem examinations of sporadic, familial and acquired prion disease every year. Thanks to the cooperation with families to consent the brain tissue to be used for research, we were able to build up a unique resource of research tissues with all types of prion diseases.

Peripheral Neuropathies: Together with Dr Phadke, I diagnose approximately 120 peripheral nerve biopsies per year. Most peripheral Neuropathies are of inflammatory nature and we have developed considerable expertise and interest in the differential diagnosis of inflammatory neuropathies. A broad range of specialist techniques are used in the diagnosis of inflammatory neuropathies. We have a close interaction with the clinical team to discuss the investigation of each neuropathy individually (read  more about the centre for Neuromuscular Diseases). 

Professional Affiliations

· Royal College of Pathologists (

· British Society of Neuropathologists (

· American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP)

· Society for Neuroscience (SfN, USA)

· German Society of Neuroscience

· British Neuro-Oncology Society (

· Swiss Society of Experimental Biology (USGEB)

Top 10 publications

  • Gill N, Spencer Y, Richard-Loendt A, Kelly C, Dabaghian R, Boyes L, Linehan J, Simmons M, Webb P, Bellerby P, Andrews N, Hilton DA, Ironside J, Beck J, Poulter M, Mead S, Brandner S. Prevalent abnormal prion protein in human appendices after cattle BSE epizootic. British Medical Journal. 2013;
  • Henriquez NV, Forshew T, Tatevossian R, Ellis M, Richard-Loendt A, Rogers HA, Jacques TS, Garcia Reitboeck P, Pearce K, Sheer D, Grundy RG, Brandner S. Comparative expression analysis reveals lineage relationships between human and murine gliomas and a dominance of glial signatures during tumour propagation in vitro. Cancer Res. 2013 Jul 25.
  • Reiniger L, Mirabile I, Lukic A, Wadsworth JD, Linehan J, Groves M, Lowe J, Druyeh R, Collinge J, Mead S, Brandner S. Filamentous white matter prion protein deposition is a distinctive feature of multiple inherited prion diseases. Acta Neuropathologica Communications. 2013;1:1-17.
  • Jacques TS, Swales A, Brzozowski MJ, Henriquez NV, Linehan JM, Mirzadeh Z, O'Malley C, Naumann H, Alvarez-Buylla A, Brandner S. Combinations of genetic mutations in the adult neural stem cell compartment determine brain tumour phenotypes. EMBO J. 2010 Jan 6;29(1):222-35
  • Nayeem N, Kerr F, Naumann H, Linehan J, Lovestone S, Brandner S. Hyperphosphorylation of tau and neurofilaments and activation of CDK5 and ERK1/2 in PTEN-deficient cerebella. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Mar;34(3):400-8
  • Haegele L, Ingold B, Naumann H, Tabatabai G, Ledermann B, Brandner S. Wnt signalling inhibits neural differentiation of embryonic stem cells by controlling bone morphogenetic protein expression. Mol Cell Neurosci. 2003 Nov;24(3):696-708.
  • Marino S, Krimpenfort P, Leung C, van der Korput HA, Trapman J, Camenisch I, Berns A, Brandner S. PTEN is essential for cell migration but not for fate determination and tumourigenesis in the cerebellum. Development. 2002 Jul;129(14):3513-22
  • Benninger Y, Marino S, Hardegger R, Weissmann C, Aguzzi A, Brandner S. Differentiation and histological analysis of embryonic stem cell-derived neural transplants in mice. Brain Pathol. 2000 Jul;10(3):330-41.
  • Brandner S. Raeber A, Sailer A, Blattler T, Fischer M, Weissmann C, Aguzzi A. Normal host prion protein (PrPC) is required for scrapie spread within the central nervous system. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Nov 12;93(23):13148-51.
  • Brandner S. Isenmann S, Raeber A, Fischer M, Sailer A, Kobayashi Y, Marino S, Weissmann C, Aguzzi A. Normal host prion protein necessary for scrapie-induced neurotoxicity. Nature. 1996 Jan 25;379(6563):339-43.

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