Dr David P Breen

Senior Clinical Research Fellow and Honorary Consultant Neurologist

  • Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
  • Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic
  • Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics

Contact details



Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
Room FU303g, Chancellor’s Building
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
47 Little France Crescent

Post code
EH16 4SB


I studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. I completed neurology and PhD training in Cambridge and London, before moving to Toronto as a post-CCT Edmond J. Safra Movement Disorders Fellow under the mentorship of Tony Lang. I returned to Edinburgh in 2018 and am currently supported by a Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship.


2018: Movement Disorders Fellowship, University of Toronto

2016: Certificate of Completion of Training in Neurology

2015: PhD in Clinical Neurosciences, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge

2008: Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

2005: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Edinburgh

2003: Intercalated BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology, University of Edinburgh

Research summary

I am an academic neurologist in the field of movement disorders, focussing on Parkinson's disease (PD). I have diverse research interests including studying the influence of sleep and circadian disruption on brain health; studying genetic and environmental PD risk factors using large datasets; and studying neglected non-motor PD features (such as dementia and communication problems). I am driving the development of PD clinical research in Edinburgh and helping to increase clinical trials capacity. I am committed to patient participation in research. 


Individual project details are outlined in my PURE academic profile (link above).

Current project grants

2019: Wellcome Clinical Research Career Development Fellowship, University of Edinburgh (PI: Dr. David Breen). ‘Does sleep and circadian rhythm disruption influence brain health?’, £416,134 over 36 months.

2018: Project Grant, RS MacDonald Seedcorn Fund, University of Edinburgh (PI: Dr. David Breen). ‘Cerebrospinal α-synuclein RT-QuIC in multiple system atrophy: a clinical and neuropathological study’, £5,000 over 6 months.

View all 88 publications on Research Explorer