University College London

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, London.

The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology is one of the world’s leading centres for translational neuroscience research and teaching.

It brings together internationally renowned laboratory and clinical scientists and hosts a number of high-profile research groups. The highly collaborative atmosphere at the Institute provides a unique environment in which to study motor neurone disease.

Immediately adjacent to the Institute is the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery – the UK’s largest dedicated neurological and neurosurgical hospital. The hospital hosts one of the largest MND care centres in the UK – established by the MND Association over 20 years ago. The location of the Institute with the hospital enables scientists at the Institute to work alongside their clinical colleagues and to play a role in training the next generation of clinical scientists. This helps to build the connections between the science taking place in the lab through to clinical trials and treatments for patients with MND coming into the hospital.

Established in 1999, the Graham Watts Laboratories – in which Professor Linda Greensmith’s team are based – are nestled within UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology. Graham Watts was a patient at the hospital who sadly died of MND. In his memory, his sister, Eileen, left a bequest to establish The Graham Watts Senior Research Fellowship for research into the underlying causes of MND and potential therapeutic approaches.

That task has become Professor Greensmith’s life’s work. Over 20 years on, her laboratories have made significant discoveries and are now at the forefront of MND research.

Today, across University College London, the MND Association funds 22 researchers working on 13 research projects. In 2019, the UCL Queen Square Motor Neuron Disease Centre was established, of which Linda Greensmith is the Scientific Director.

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