UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Prof Olga Ciccarelli

Prof Olga Ciccarelli

Professor of Neurology


UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2000

Research summary

I am a NIHR Research Professor of Neurology. My research programme aims to develop a computer tool that will enable doctors to predict which medicines individuals with multiple sclerosis will respond better to. There are many licensed drugs that reduce the risk of relapses in multiple sclerosis, but doctors cannot predict which of these will work best for an individual. The decision about which drug to give to a patient is based on personal preference. Medications are changed if patients develop relapses, disability and adverse events. The goal of my research professorship is to develop a computer tool that predicts whether an individual patient will respond to a drug by taking into account all the elements that may influence treatment response, including demographic and genetic factors, blood biomarkers, MRI, diet, comorbidities and life style. We will use machine learning, which is a sub-area of artificial intelligence, to predict individual treatment responses. This crucial information will help doctors to select the most appropriate treatment for multiple sclerosis patients.

Teaching summary

I am currently the primary supervisor of several PhD students. I regularly give lectures at national and international conferences, and have organised workshops and teaching courses at international conferences. 


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2004
Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training | 1999
Universita degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery | 1995


I studied Medicine at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy, where I completed my specialist training in Neurology in 1999. I then came to London with the Jacqueline Du Pre award from the MSIF. After my PhD in Neuroscience at UCL, I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Advanced Clinical Fellowship. In 2019 I was awarded a NIHR Research Professorship.