Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

Translational neurosurgery

Translational neurosurgery aims to inform, enable and accelerate the translation of advances from the laboratory to the operating theatre.

Pencil anatomy drawing of the head

University of Edinburgh Department of Neurosurgery

Our neurosurgeons work in collaboration with clinicians and laboratory scientists within the University and beyond. This provides a unique perspective on the problems that our patients experience, in turn driving novel research.

We aim to inform, enable, and accelerate the translation of advances from the laboratory to the operating theatre, to regenerate where once surgeons only operated.

Approaches are broad and range from molecular biology to microelectronics and engineering.

Meet the team

A group of academic neurosurgeons who collaborate with each other.

Dr Paul Brennan: glioma stem cell biology

The glioma stem cell biology group is working to improve the outcome for patients with brain tumours. By understanding the molecular-level variation between tumours in different patients, it is hoped to personalise cancer care.

Based at the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre in the Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Paul Brennan's group works closely with other glioma scientists in the University, including the Pollard group at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

Dr Mark Hughes: in silico technologies

Previous doctoral work on neuron:silicon interfaces explored therapeutic opportunities enabled by interfacing microelectronics with nervous systems.

Current work centres on novel in silico technologies as tools to advance diagnosis and management of neurosurgical pathology relating to the pituitary gland and skull-base.

Dr Julie Woodfield (ECAT Clinical Lecturer)

Conducted doctoral research on structural connectomics in paediatric epilepsy surgery candidates.

Currently assessing demographics and outcomes in cauda equina syndrome and setting up a pragmatic trial assessing optimal management of odontoid process fractures.

Dr John Emelifeonwu (Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Infection & Pathway Medicine)

Conducted doctoral research assessing the impact of TBI on pituitary function and worked on the NOSTRA trial.

Dr Aimun Jamjoon

Aimun's doctoral research focused on synapse pathology following traumatic brain injury. He also has an interest in the application of technology in medicine and is the Principal Investigator for a project aiming to develop a digital therapy for patients with concussion.

Dr Michael Poon (PhD student)

Currently OOPR conducting doctoral research into glioma, using a data-driven analytic approaches to determine treatment response.

Mr James Loan (PhD student)

Currently OOPR conducting a PhD to understand determinants of acute brain injury associated inflammation.

Outreach through education and clinical trials

There is a firm commitment to undergraduate and postgraduate education at local, national and international levels, as well as involvement in regional and national clinical trials. The majority of neurosurgical trainees in Edinburgh complete a higher degree during their training.