UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Queen Square Inaugural Lectures: Professor Jon Rohrer and Professor Michael Lunn

25 January 2023

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology held its first inaugural lecture evening of 2023, on 24th January 2023, which was joined online and in person by many UK and international attendees.

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Professor Jon Rohrer (Professor of Neurology) : “About the self - a journey through frontotemporal dementia”

jon rohrer
Professor Rohrer completed  his initial degree at the University of Cambridge in Natural Sciences (Experimental Psychology, Triple 1st) and then went on to study Medicine at the University of Oxford (preclinical) and University College London (clinical) qualifying in 2001. He subsequently went on to train in general medicine completing the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians exam in 2004. Following this, he trained in Neurology at the Royal Free Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery completing training in August 2014. He is now a Professor of Neurology at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2018.


Professor Rohrer's research has focused on biomarkers of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), particularly in relation to their underlying genetic causes. Research in the field of FTD has led to the publication of over 300 Pubmed-referenced papers and he speaks regularly at national and international conferences about the work. Since 2011 he has co-ordinated the Genetic FTD Initiative, GENFI, a multicentre cohort study of presymptomatic genetic FTD. Since 2018 he has been co-lead for the worldwide FTD Prevention Initiative. He has also set up FTD UK, an annual scientific meeting of UK researchers who work in the FTD field (running since 2011), and runs a website dedicated to providing research updates to the general public about FTD: FTD talk.

Professor Michael Lunn (Professor of Clinical Neurology) : "Searching the serum soup: Serendipity and mentorship"

michael lunn
Professor Lunn's specialist clinical and research interests are in the inflammatory neuropathies, particularly Guillain-Barré syndrome, CIDP and paraproteinaemic neuropathies including POEMS.


His out-patient practice as part of the peripheral nerve service in the MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease at the National Hospital covers all inflammatory neuropathies, including clinics run jointly with haematology and with multidisciplinary support from neurophysiologists and nurse specialists. With Dr Shirley D'Sa at UCLH he runs the only specialised POEMS service in the UK. 

Professor Lunn in also clinical lead in neuroimmunology at Queen Square and runs the neuroimmunology and CSF Laboratory (NICL) which performs specialist CSF, serum, plasma and other body fluid tests for a range of neurological diseases.

"Queen Square remains a very special environment in so many ways. I first entered in 1995 as a junior doctor and I very much regard myself as a practising clinician, enjoying my patient interactions, the ‘thrill of the chase’ to difficult diagnoses and the rewards of successful treatment strategies. Over the years these have all become more complex, more risky but more effective. There are not many places where the density of complex medicine and experienced colleagues and friends enables the safe and satisfying provision of treatment excellence.
My academic  interests come from, and are focussed on, the clinic; what is the problem, how do I work it out and how can I make the patient better? I am extremely fortunate to be able to combine the clinical and academic to the benefit of individuals and the wider community. It was an honour to be able to present the summation of my work to date to friends and colleagues, as well as recognise and thank those who both knowingly and unknowingly have shaped my career to date. There is still a long way to go!"

Introductions and closing remarks were given by Professor Gipi Schiavo, IoN Deputy Director for Strategy. Votes of thanks were given by Professor Nick Fox, Joint Head of Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, and Professor Mary Reilly, Professor of Neurology, Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, respectively.

inaugural group jan 2023
Image (left to right): Professor Mary Reilly, Professor Michael Lunn, Professor Jon Rohrer, Professor Nick Fox, Professor Gipi Schiavo.


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