Dr Patrick Kearns

Rowling Scholar

Contact details



Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic
49 Little France Crescent
University of Edinburgh

Post code
EH16 4SB


Dr Patrick Kearns is researching the causes and distribution of multiple sclerosis (MS), and in particular plans to use geographical data and laboratory-based techniques to look for clues as to the environmental cause(s) of the disease. He is particularly interested in investigating how infection with Epstein-Barr virus (the virus that causes glandular fever),  and perhaps also other early-life viral infections,  might explain why people later go on to develop MS.

The overall aim of his research is to understand why certain areas in Scotland have one of the highest rates of MS in the world. This might provide ideas for strategies to treat and prevent MS and other neurodegenerative conditions.

Patrick studied medicine and an intercalated degree in physiology at the University of Edinburgh, before completing his medical training in Glasgow. Thereafter he studied for a master’s degree in public health at Harvard University as a Frank Knox Fellow, and was briefly a visiting scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


BMedSci (Hons) - Bachelor's in Medical Sciences with First Class Honours in Physiology - University of Edinburgh

MBChB - Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - Univeristy of Edinburgh

MRCP - Diploma of Membership of the Royal College of Physicians - Royal College of Physicians (UK)

PGCert (HPE) - Post Graduate Certificate in Health Professionals Education - University of Glasgow

MPH - Master's in Public Health (Global Health) - Harvard University