Institute of Genetics and Cancer

Professor Cathy Abbott named as co-director of Edinburgh Neuroscience

Alongside Professor Malcolm MacLeod, Professor Abbott will lead the community of neuroscience researchers: November 2023

Professor Cathy Abbott
Professor Cathy Abbott

Professors Cathy Abbott and Malcolm MacLeod take over the directorship from Professor Siddharthan Chandran.

They are long-standing and active members of Edinburgh Neuroscience, which is a cross-community of over 500 fundamental, clinical and psychology researchers who work across the University of Edinburgh and has been running for over 17 years.


Professor Cathy Abbott is based in the Centre for Genomic and Experimental Medicine, within the Institute of Genetics and Cancer. Her work focuses on the translation elongation factor eEF1A2, which is expressed in neurons and muscle, and its role in neurological disorders.


Mutations in the gene encoding eEF1A2, have been found to cause epilepsy, developmental delay, intellectual disability, and autism. The Abbott Research Group examine gene edited models of these neurodevelopmental disorders and use them to test therapeutic approaches.

In addition, they are trying to understand the developmental, tissue-specific switch between different forms of eEF1A (eEF1A1 and eEF1A2) and the consequences of this switch at a cellular and whole organism level.  

We are delighted to have been appointed as joint leads for the thriving community that is Edinburgh Neuroscience. Our complementary backgrounds and shared passion for improving conditions for researchers have led to our vision of an environment where research culture is at the heart of all our activities, allowing inspiration to flourish. We will promote open science, embed EDI, and provide the best possible opportunities for early career researchers. We are really looking forward to working with you all and look forward to hearing your ideas for the future of Edinburgh Neuroscience.

Professors Cathy Abbott and Malcolm MacLeodCo-directors of Edinburgh Neuroscience


Cathy Abbott Research Group

Edinburgh Neuroscience

Professor Malcolm MacLeod profile page