UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Department of Neuroinflammation

Head of Department: Professor Olga Ciccarelli

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 nine research groups, with over 20 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.

The department is also closely affiliated with the Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre and UCLH.

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.

cell signalling lab

Cell Signalling

Investigating microglial signalling cascades using cell-based systems to dissect out the pathways of neuronal death in neurodegenerative disease.

fluorescence image of blood vessel

Experimental Neuroinflammation

Study of the fundamental mechanisms underlying central and peripheral neuroinflammation, with the goal of developing novel therapeutic strategies for protection of neural function and structure.

Glutamate receptor mGR2/3-positive glial progenitor cells and immature bipolar astrocytes in a demyelinating MS lesion

Immunopathology - NeuroResource

Examining cellular responses to myelin, axonal and blood vessel damage in MS and MND and providing samples from the tissue bank NeuroResource for a wide range of research projects.


MR Physics - NMR Research Unit

The NMR Research Unit is focused on developing, implementing and translating methods for studying a number of pathophysiological processes occurring in multiple sclerosis.

Image from MRI

Neuroimaging in MS

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide new insights into the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of MS, and translate these into more effective treatments and better care for people with MS.

Brain MRI

Predicting treatment response in MS using MRI

Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) genetics and neurofilaments information to develop a computer tool that will enable doctors to predict which medicines individuals with MS will respond better to.

Neuroimmunology samples - image taken from UCLH Neuroimmunology page


Dedicated to the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid and serum to aid in the diagnosis of neurological diseases such as, inflammatory demyelinating disorders and dementia.

Patient receiving MRI scan

Trials in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

Conducting clinical trials in patients with secondary progressive MS, examining the efficacy of various therapies at slowing the rate of brain atrophy (shrinkage).

MRI Brain

Use of MRI in Clinical Drug Trials for MS

Providing management and analysis expertise to physicians and industry using MRI measurements as part of multicentre clinical drug trials for multiple sclerosis.


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. Olga Ciccarelli (+44 (0) 203 108 7415)

The department is looked after by our manager Judith Jolleys, and the departmental assistant Heather Ormsby.

Please see also IoN estates map