Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research

The MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research is a multidisciplinary centre-without-walls funded by the MS Society, dedicated to laboratory and clinical research into multiple sclerosis.

MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research logo

The Centre brings together research expertise in multiple sclerosis (MS) from across the University of Edinburgh. It unites basic scientists and clinical academics with a common research interest in MS.

The MS Centre was founded in 2007 with a grant from the MS Society, which was renewed for a further 5 years in 2015.

Human oligodendrocyte in culture

The focus of the research is on improved understanding of the underlying mechanism of disease progression, in the hope of building a clearer picture of how MS develops, and a better method for modelling the condition and finding effective treatments. Insights into the biology of MS will inform treatment development and pave the way for innovative new therapies to repair the damage that occurs in MS.

Watch an MS Society video in which Professor Siddharthan Chandran explains what the Centre hopes to achieve.

MS Centre members

The 23 Principal Investigator members are drawn from across the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

Name Position Research theme More information
Mark Bastin Reader Brain imaging Profile
Peter Brophy Professor of Anatomy Molecular & cell biology of axon-glia interactions Profile
Siddharthan Chandran MacDonald Professor of Neurology; Centre Director Regenerative neurology Profile
Judy Newton Clinic Manager Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic Rowling Clinic staff
Peter Connick Senior Clinical Research Fellow Information processing in MS


Charles ffrench-Constant Professor of Multiple Sclerosis Research Myelination & repair in the CNS Profile
Emily Gwyer Findlay

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow

Immunology in inflammatory disease Profile
Giles Hardingham Professor of Molecular Neurobiology Protective & degenerative signalling in the CNS Profile
David Hunt Clinical Fellow Molecular pathways of neuroinflammation Profile
David Lyons Professor of Neurobiology Nervous system development in zebrafish Profile
Don Mahad Senior Clinical Lecturer Role of mitochondria in the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration Profile
Ian Marshall Professor of Magnetic Resonance Physics Clinical & biomedical MRI Profile
Dies Meijer Professor of Cellular Neurobiology Molecular & cellular basis of myelination Profile
Veronique Miron Lecturer Neuroinflammation in injury and repair Profile
Katy Murray Consultant Neurologist MS monitoring, treatment & trials Rowling Clinic staff
Scott Semple Reader Non-invasive imaging-based biomarkers Profile
Dirk Sieger Chancellor's Fellow Zebrafish models of microglial function Profile
Colin Smith Professor of Neuropathology Neuropathology & brain banking Profile
Tara Spires-Jones Reader & Chancellor's Fellow Mechanisms & reversibility of neurodegeneration Profile
Adam Waldman Professor of Neuroradiology Brain imaging Profile
Joanna Wardlaw Professor of Applied Neuroimaging Neuroimaging Profile
Belinda Weller Consultant Neurologist MS treatment & trials Rowling Clinic staff
Anna Williams Professor of Regenerative Neurology Remyelination in MS Profile
Meeting participants
1st Academic Symposium attendees, May 2017

Member news

Brain cell changes in people with MS revealed: News article about Anna Williams' team Nature paper Jan 2019. doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-0903-2

MS Society "Meet the Researchers" film featuring several Edinburgh PIs and featuring Prof David Lyons' work: youtu.be/sIH29R8wzvU (published Dec 2018)

'Living with MS' patient:scientist exchange event on 5th Sept 2018 in Glasgow

Watch on YouTube Zoe's Vlog: How MS research is helping us Kiss Goodbye to MS featuring Anna Williams, Veronique Miron & members of their labs (posted March 2018).

members of the MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research
4th Academic Symposium organisers with some of the attendees, Feb 2019. L-R: Prof Dirk Sieger, Prof Anna Williams, Prof David Lyons, Dr Rafael Almeida, Dr Leda Zoupi, Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, Dr Irene Molina.

Previous meetings

  • The 4th MS Society for MS Research meeting was  held on 4th February 2019. View the programme on the Eventbrite page.
  • The 2nd academic meeting was held on Monday 5th Feb 2018. It was a very successful afternoon, featuring scientific talks, poster 'speed-dating' and discussions on career development. View the programme on the Eventbrite listing page.
  • The MS Society MS Frontiers 2017 meeting was held in Edinburgh on 29-30th June 2017. There was a strong Centre presence: Belinda Weller and Anna Williams are both speaking; Charles ffrench-Constant gave the McDonald Memorial Award Lecture, introduced by Siddharthan Chandran.
  • The members held a successful academic symposium on May 12th 2017 - an afternoon of informal talks and networking. View the programme on the Eventbrite listing page.

Related links

MS Society