UCL Institute of Neurology


Unit of Functional Neurosurgery


Head of Unit: Professor Marwan Hariz, Simon Sainsbury Chair of Functional Neurosurgery

Unit of Functional Neuosurgery

The Unit of Functional Neurosurgery at UCL Institute of Neurology/National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery is a highly specialised multi-disciplined team, which is dedicated to the treatment of patients with Parkinson’s disease, Dystonia, and other movement disorders using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a technique for correcting abnormal function in the brain circuits that control movement.

Research Strategy

Impact case study (from the UCL Impact website):
Research-driven advances in surgical techniques lead to improved patient outcomes after Deep Brain Stimulation

The Unit was established through the generous support of The Parkinson’s Appeal led by Mrs Lyn Rothman. Professor Hariz, consultant neurosurgeon, was appointed in October 2002 to the first established University Chair of Functional Neurosurgery (The Edmond J. Safra Chair of Functional Neurosurgery). In 2012, the unit celebrated its 10th anniversary and following an award from The Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts (Monument Trust), Professor Hariz became The Simon Sainsbury Chair of Neurosurgery.

DBS involves surgical implantation of electrodes precisely within deep-seated brain structures to allow modulation of neural activity by means of an implanted impulse generator. The ultimate aim is an improvement in neurological symptoms and the patient’s quality of life. The Unit places great emphasis on patient safety and enjoys an internationally unparalleled track record in terms of the risk/benefit ratio of DBS surgery.

Clinical research is geared towards utilising advances in modern imaging technology to visualise and target anatomical structures within the brain. Such an approach has provided the highest degree of safety to patients whilst exploring the role of new brain targets and novel indications for deep brain stimulation.

DBS provides a unique opportunity to study neural activity from regions of the human brain that are normally inaccessible. The Unit enjoys a collaborative approach with numerous other research groups both within and outside the Sobell Department to make the most of these opportunities.

To find out more about team members, click on their respective name:

Professor Marwan Hariz

Professor Patricia Limousin

Professor Marjan Jahanshahi

Dr Thomas Foltynie

Mr Ludvic Zrinzo

Dr Diane Ruge

Mrs Elina Tripoliti

Mr Joseph Candelario

Miss Linda Taib