UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Prof Tom Warner

Prof Tom Warner

Chair of Clinical Neurology & Director of the Reta Lila Weston Institute

Clinical and Movement Neurosciences

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Joined UCL
1st Aug 1998

Research summary

The focus of my research is to understand the molecular pathogenesis and cell biology of a number of hereditary movement disorders with the aim of developing novel translational strategies. Studies span from basic cellular neuroscience, to neuropathology and clinical studies.

As an independent investigator I have run a research group studying the cell biology, genetics and pathogenesis of movement disorders, in particular dystonia, Huntington’s disease and hereditary spastic paraplegias, with emphasis on cellular disease mechanisms. For DYT1 dystonia we found abnormalities in synaptic vesicle cycling and that torsinA interacts with a component of the proteasome lid, and mutant torsinA alters the stability of a number of synaptic vesicle proteins including snapin and stonin2. This defect in synaptic vesicle endocytosis and can be reversed by overexpression of SV proteins.

For hereditary spastic paraplegia we have been involved in identification of new disease genes and study of cellular mechanisms particularly for SPG4, 7, and currently the two most common forms of autosomal recessive HSP, SPG 11 and 15. These pathogenetic mechanism inform on maintenance of long axons and axonal development.

My group also has worked on developing biomarkers for Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease and identifying neuroendocrine markers of disease state.

In 2013 I became Director of the Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies at UCL Institute of Neurology and established a large collaborative laboratory to model neurodegenerative diseases in neuronal and glial models derived from induced pluripotential stem cells from patients with genetic conditions. Currently we have neuronal and astrocyte models of SPG 11 and 15 HSP, dystonia-parkinsonism, DYT1 dystonia, and frontotemporal dementia due to MAPT gene mutation.

As Director of the Queen Square Brain Bank we are looking to validate findings from our iPS cell models in tissue from sporadic forms of the diseases. We also undertake comprehensive clinic-pathological studies and develop new biomarkers of disease for Parkinson’s disease and its behavioural and cognitive phenotypes.

Teaching summary

Director of MSc Clinical Neuroscience, UCL, IoN   2013- to date

Lecture and examine undergraduates on the BSc in Molecular Medicine Course.

Clinical teaching of medical students (Top teacher award 2006/7/8)

Postgraduate teaching in Advanced Neurology Course

International plenary sessions on dystonia, neurogenetics and movement disorders


Royal College of Physicians
Doctorate, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians | 2002
University of London
Doctorate, Doctorat | 1997
Royal College of Physicians
Doctorate, Member of the Royal College of Physicians | 1990
University of Oxford
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery | 1987
University of Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1984