Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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James Loan

Understanding determinants of acute brain injury associated inflammation

James Loan

PhD Student - Hardingham & McColl Labs

  • Hugh Robson Building + Chancellors Building
  • 15 George Square + Edinburgh BioQuarter
  • Edinburgh

Contact details

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Personal Profile

  • 2008-2014: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, with distinction, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2010-2011: Bachelor of Medical Sciences with first class honours (Neuroscience) and first in class, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 2014-2016: Foundation Medical Training, NHS Grampian
  • 2016: Admission to Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • 2016-2017: Supernumerary Neurosurgical Registrar, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. Visiting Scientist at University of Cape Town.
  • 2014-2017: Master of Science (Surgical Sciences), with distinction and Lister Medal, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and University of Edinburgh,
  • 2017-2018: Honorary Specialty Registrar in Neurosurgery, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
  • 2017-present ECAT Clinical Lecturer, University of Edinburgh and Honorary Specialty Registrar in Neurosurgery, NHS Lothian
  • 2018-present PhD student. UK Dementia Research Institute, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences


I am a doctor training in neurosurgery. Broadly, I am interested in understanding why inflammatory responses to acute brain injury vary between people and how these impact on long-term clinical outcome. This is important to inform patient selection for surgery and may allow targeted therapeutic development.

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Towards my PhD I am developing in vitro and in vivo models of brain haemorrhage to investigate how microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, modulate astrocyte and neuronal responses to haemorrhage. By accessing brain tissue and clinical data kindly donated by patients who have died following haemorrhage we will identify which disease modifying factors are translatable to human disease.

My PhD is supervised by Prof. Giles Hardingham, Dr. Barry McColl and Prof. Rustam Salman and is funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Relevant Publications:

  • Loan JJM, Caoimhe K, Emelianova K, Dando OR, Poon MTC, Pimenova L, Hardingham GE, McColl BW, Klijn CJM, Al-Shahi Salman R, Schreuder FHBM, Samarasekera N. Secondary injury and inflammation after intracerebral haemorrhage: a systematic review and meta-analysis of molecular markers in patient brain tissue. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry; 2021, DOI: 10.1136/jnnp-2021-327098
  • Linxin L, Poon MTC, Samarasekera NE, Perry LA, Moullaali T, Rodrigues MA, Loan JJM, Stephen J, Lerpiniere C, Tuna MA, Gutnikov SA, Kuker W, Silver LE, Salman RAS, Rothwell PM. Risks of recurrent stroke and all serious vascular events after spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage: pooled analyses of two population-based studies. Lancet Neurology; 2021, 20(6):437-447
  • Tominey S, Baweja K, Woodfield J, Chambers TJG, Poon MTC, Wiggins AN, Brennan PM, Loan JJM. Investigation and management of serum Sodium after Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SaSH): a survey of practice in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. British Journal of Neurosurgery; 2021, DOI: 10.1080/02688697.2020.1859460
  • Loan JJM, Gane AB, Middleton L, Sargent B, Moullaali TJ, Rodrigues MA, Cunningham L, Wardlaw JM, Salman RAS, Samarasekera N. Association of baseline haematoma and oedema volumes with one-year outcome and long-term survival after spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage: a community-based inception cohort study. International Journal of Stroke; 2020, DOI: 10.1177/1747493020974282
  • Rodrigues MA, Samarasekera N, Lerpiniere C, Perry LA, Moullaali TJ, Loan JJM, Wardlaw JM, Salman RAS. The association between CT biomarkers of cerebral small vessel diseases and long-term outcome after spontaneous intracerebral haemorrhage. Annals of Neurology; 2020, DOI: 10.1002/ana.25949
  • Loan JJM, Tominey S, Poon MTC, Mankahla N, Meintjes G, Fieggen AG. Ventriculoperitoneal shunt insertion in human immunodeficiency virus infected adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Neurology 2020;20:141
  • Loan JJM, Scott NW, Jansen JO. Long-term survival and five year hospital resource usage following traumatic brain injury in Scotland from 1997 to 2015: A population-based retrospective cohort study. Injury. 2019; 50(1):82-89
  • Foo CC, Loan JJM, Brennan PM. The Relationship of the FOUR Score to Patient Outcome: A Systematic Review. Journal of Neurotrauma. 2019;36(17):2469-2483
  • Loan JJM, Wiggins AN, Brennan PM. Medically induced hypertension, hypervolaemia and haemodilution for the treatment and prophylaxis of vasospasm following aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage: Systematic Review. British Journal of Neurosurgery 2018, DOI: 10.1080/02688697.2018.1426720