Professor William Whiteley (BM BCh MA MSc PhD MRCP)

Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology


William Whiteley is a Scottish Senior Clinical Fellow (funded by CSO) in the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh.

He is also an International Fellow at the Population Health Research Institute, University of McMaster (Canada); and a consultant neurologist in NHS Lothian, working with patients with TIA, stroke and dementia. He is the Clinical lead for the Scottish Stroke Research Network.


Master of Science, University of London, Epidemiology Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh, Biomarkers in Stroke Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Oxford Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge, Neurophysiology

Responsibilities & affiliations

Clinical lead - Scottish Stroke Research Network


Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I have a track record of supporting interested clinicians gain independent funding, and have mentored several fellows through academic clinical fellowships. If you would like to join me to investigate clinical epidemiology, clinical trials, cerebrovascular disease, or use of 'big data' please contact me by email:

Current PhD students supervised

Dr. Emma Davidson, PhD: Identifying brain imaging phenotypes in radiology records (Alzheimer's Society)

Dr. Jakub Kaczynski, PhD: Novel methods to identify high risk carotid plaque (BHF)

Laura Sherlock, PhD: Effect of different analytic techniques on cognitive outcomes in prevention of vascular cognitive impairment (CSO)

Past PhD students supervised

Dr. Yvonne Chun Efficient trials and anxiety after stroke (CSO) 

Dr Akila Visvanathan Communication of prognosis after stroke (CSO) 

Dr. Douglas Turnbull Predictive models after stroke (MRC) 

Research summary

  • His work seeks to elucidate the mechanisms for prevention of disability due to stroke and dementia through the design, delivery and analysis of epidemiological studies and clinical trials. Of particular interest are: the contribution of vascular risk factors to dementia; the very long term follow-up of randomized trials; clinical diagnosis; and the better use of large electronic health record datasets for more efficient clinical trials and cohort studies.

    He founded the Edinburgh Clinical Natural Language Processing Group with Dr Honghang Wu and Dr Bea Alex, a multidisciplinary team at the University of Edinburgh who apply natural language processing to clinical text.

    He has founded and run the Edinburgh Stroke Winter School and clinical PhD research training programs in stroke (funded by the Stroke Association) and dementia (funded by the Alzheimer's Society and University of Edinburgh). He has been supported by personal fellowships from the UK MRC (Clinician Scientist fellowship 2010-2015), the Chief Scientist’s Office (2006-2009, 2018-2025), and his work by the Alzheimer's Society, the Stroke Association and Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland

Research activities

View all 61 activities on Research Explorer

View all 169 publications on Research Explorer