Professor Colin Smith

Chair of Neuropathology; Director of Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences


I graduated MBChB from Glasgow 1992, and FRCPath 2000. I was appointed Senior Lecturer in Pathology in 2001 and I have both a diagnostic and research component to my job plan. My main research interests lie around neurotrauma and neurovascular disease, and particularly assessment of human tissue in these disorders.

Research summary

Traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular disease are two very different processes which injure the brain, but which both produce devastating injuries to the patients affected. My research looks at how the brain is injured and how it responds to those injuries. While animal models help us understand basic processes, only by looking at human brains will we fully understand the processes that can be modified by drug therapies and hopefully improve the lives of patients affected by these common conditions.

Research aims and areas of interest

  • Neurotrauma- assessing the pathological changes associated with mild head injury, both single impact and repeated impacts. Specifically we will focus on the human synapse as a target for early modifications in head injury
  • Neurovascular disease- we focus specifically on small vessel disease, and we ar elooking at laser-captured small vessels from cases with intracerebral haemorrhage and comparing these with normal age-matched controls. This approach will help address the hypothesis that small vessels are inherently abnormal and can be modified by other factors to predispose to lacunar infarcts and haemorrhage



  • Professor Seth Grant (Centre for Neuroregeneration); Professor Joanna Wardlaw (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences); Professor Tom Gillingwater (Centre for Integrative Physiology), Dr Tara Spires-Jones (Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems), Dr Sharon Abrahams (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences)


  • Professor John Hardy, Dr Mina Ryten (Institute of Neurology, University College London)


  • Professor Susan Margulies (University of Pennsylvania), Professor Tina Duhaime (Harvard Medical School)

Sources of funding

  • Medical Research Council (Edinburgh Brain Bank)
  • National Institutes of Health (neurotrauma research)

View all 261 publications on Research Explorer