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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry


Leads: Professors Gavin Giovannoni and David Baker

The unit focuses on translational neuroscience, with a speciality in multiple sclerosis. We are one of the few groups in the World that has truly translational opportunities to move from cell cultures, through animal models, clinical trials and patient care. This is supported by a multi-disciplinary-team of basic and clinician scientists, nursing staff and neurologists. We have a focus on disease prevention and control and biomarkers of neuroinflammation, neuroprotection, repair and symptom control. We have strong history of developing models of and undertaking clinical trials in multiple sclerosis. We strong links with the Pharmaceutical industry and have been involved in drug development for compound synthesis through to licensing of drugs for the treatment of people with neurological disease.

The research focus is neuroimmunology and the control of Neuroimmunological Diseases, with a specific focus of multiple sclerosis (MS). The research focus is varied and involves research into aetiological factors, such as diet, discovery of pathogenic antigens and viral infection in the evolution of MS. Basic science research is focusing on control of the immune response and the induction of immunological tolerance, the development of neuroprotective and repair, including stem cell, strategies in optic neuritis and MS and symptomatic control, particularly related to endocannabinoid biology. The group is involved elucidation of the biomarker activity of magnetic resonance imaging and identification of biomarkers of disease in biological fluids. Clinical studies are focused on the role of the innate immune response in disease development, the induction of immune tolerance in humans, cannabinoid control of symptoms and disease monitoring and clinical trial design. The group is involved in numerous clinical trials aimed at treating different aspect so neurological disease. The group also fulfils NHS responsibilities for Barts Health Hospitals. The group has a number of public engagement of science activities and all members of the group are exposed people with the diseases we are studying.

Research projects

Commercial Development of symptomatic control agents for MS
Commercial Development of Neuroprotective Agents for MS
Endocannabinoid control of disease
Identification of neuroprotective and repair agents for MS.
Role of stem cell and stem cell engineering for the treatment of MS
Development of experimental models of multiple sclerosis
Pathological correlates of magnetic resonance imaging
The role of post-Infectious immunity in the development of human disease
The role of post-infectious autoimmunity in models of human disease
Monitoring and prevention of neutralising antibodies in immune therapy
Induction of Immunological tolerance in human autoimmune disease
Development of biomarkers in the development of multiple sclerosis
Neuroprotection in optic neuritis in multiple sclerosis,
Neuroprotection in progressive multiple sclerosis
Development of novel trial design for the treatment of MS
Viral aetiology in the prevention and control of multiple sclerosis
Role Vitamin D in the develop of multiple sclerosis
Clinical Trials in multiple sclerosis



BSc Neuroscience (Intercalated)


MSc Neuroscience and Translational Medicine

PhD Studentships


Professional Development

MS Preceptoship

Lab Experience Placements

Academic staff
Prof. Gavin Giovannoni, Prof. David Baker (Group Leads)
Dr Klaus Schmierer, Dr Mark Baker, Dr Greg Michael, Dr Ute Meier

Post-Doc Researchers and Fellows
Dr Gareth Pryce, Dr Monica Calado-Marta, Dr Fabiola Puentes, Dr David Holden, Dr Lucia Bianchi, Dr Francesca Ammoscato

Research Assistants
Ms. Alison Thompson

Honorary Staff                                                                                                            Prof. Sandra Amor, Prof. Chris Hawkes, Prof. Gianvito Martino , Prof. Bared Safieh Garabedian, Prof Anne Macgregor, Dr Sharmilee Gnanapavan, Prof Julian Gold, Dr Davide Martino, Dr Rachel Farrell, Mr. Joshua Gold, Dr Alastair Noyce, Dr Sigurlaug Sveinbjornsdottir, Dr Joel Raffel, Dr Chris Everett, Mr. George Pepper, Mr. Freddie Yauner.


News & Announcements

Links for patients:

MS Research Blog
shift MS

Dr David Holden
Laboratory Manager Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 2327 Fax: +44 (0)20 7882 2180

Ms Jyoti Salhan
Centre Manager Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8605 Fax: +44 (0)20 7882 2180

Centre for Neuroscience, Surgery and Trauma
Blizard Institute
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
4 Newark Street
E1 2AT

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