Head of Department: Professor Kenneth J Smith, BSc, PhD
The main focus of the department is research into multiple sclerosis (MS) and we employ a broad range of basic and clinical methods, including clinical therapeutic trials.
The department consists of over 82 investigators organized into ten research groups, with over 22 PhD students. The department is recognized worldwide as a centre of excellence for MS research, building on the strong foundation established by Prof. Ian McDonald, memorialized in the internationally-accepted “McDonald Criteria” for disease diagnosis.
Our research activity truly spans “from bench to bedside and back again”, described in outline below, and in more detail on the personal websites of the members:-
- Microglial biology in neurodegeneration & neuroinflammation – Jennifer Pocock
- Pathophysiology of neuroinflammation & new treatment strategies – Kenneth Smith
- Understanding damage and repair using MRI – Olga Ciccarelli
- Cerebrospinal fluid and blood biomarkers - Neuroimmunology Unit
- Developing quantitative MRI imaging biomarkers – Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott
- Optimising MRI measures of neuroprotection and repair – David Miller
- Studying the MS grey matter - Declan Chard
- Investigator-led and commercial clinical trials in MS – Jeremy Chataway, Olga Ciccarelli, Raj Kapoor, David Miller
- Optic neuritis – Ahmed Toosy
- Neuropathology and brain bank – Jia Newcombe
A number of MS clinical trials are currently ongoing within the department, including 2 investigator-led trials and 11 industry-led. Indeed, there is an excellent balance of discovery and translational science, with two novel lines of fundamental research progressing from the laboratory to ongoing or imminent multiple clinical trials. Prior trials included one for Natalizumab.
Current research funding is £16m, with grants from the UK and USA Multiple Sclerosis Societies and other charities, UK Research Councils, and several pharmaceutical companies.
We have an active international seminar programme, with meetings approximately every 2 weeks.
If you would like to know more about our activities, or you would like to join or support our research, please contact either the members of staff directly (contact details on their websites), or Prof. Kenneth Smith (+44 (0) 207 679 4013).