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Professor Keyoumars Ashkan

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Keyoumars Ashkan is the Professor of Neurosurgery at King's College Hospital, London. His main research interests are in functional neurosurgery and neuro-oncology, including the effect of deep brain stimulation on motor and non-motor aspects of Parkinson's disease, optimisation of surgical targeting for movement disorders, paediatric deep brain stimulation, neuromodulation for psychiatric disorders, development of novel therapies for movement disorders and stroke, new treatments for brain tumours including immunotherapy, genetics and molecular pathology of brain tumours and patient reported outcome measures. He has over 100 peer reviewed papers cited in PubMed in these areas. He is the clinical lead for neuro-oncology and functional neurosurgery at King's. He is the Chair of King's Neuroscience clinical trials unit and the deputy chair of King's neuroscience research advisory group.

 

Professor Tipu Aziz

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Professor Aziz is the founder and head of Oxford Functional Neurosurgery. His primate work was central to confirming the subthalamic nucleus as a possible surgical target for deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease and more recently the pedunculopontine nucleus. Oxford Functional Neurosurgery is currently one of the busiest centres for such surgery in the UK and academically very productive. His research interests are the role of the upper brain stem in the control of movement, the clinical neurophysiology of movement disorders and neuropathic pain and autonomic responses to deep brain stimulation and the use of MR and MEG imaging in functional neurosurgery. 

 

Professor Robert Brownstone

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Prof Rob Brownstone was appointed as BRT Chair of Neurosurgery, Professor and Head of the Division of Neurosurgery at the Institute of Neurology, University College London in 2015.

Prior to that, he held the Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Spinal Cord Circuits, and was a Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Medical Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences.

Rob Brownstone completed most of his training at the University of Manitoba, beginning with a B.Sc. in computer science, followed by MD and PhD degrees. He then pursued post-doctoral training in neurophysiology in Copenhagen, Denmark, before returning to the University of Manitoba for residency training in neurosurgery. He accepted a faculty position there, where he practiced for five years as a neurosurgeon-scientist before re-locating to Dalhousie University in 2000.

As a functional neurosurgeon, he focuses on quality of life neurosurgery, treating patients with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, intractable pain syndromes, and epilepsy. Work in his laboratory focuses on neural circuits controlling movement. Specifically, he studies how the brain activates spinal cord neuronal circuits to produce movement, how these spinal cord circuits are configured to produce appropriate motor coordination, and how circuits between the spinal cord and muscles ensure appropriate limb movement. His research in Canada is supported primarily by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as infrastructure grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust.


James Fitzgerald

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James Fitzgerald is working on implanted electronic devices that interface directly with parts of the nervous system. At present his main research focus is on the development of a novel type of interface capable of recording signals from motor axons in severed peripheral nerves after amputation, with the aim of using these signals to control sophisticated prosthetic limbs. This requires advances in several areas including polymer microfabrication techniques, implantable electrophysiological recording systems, microsurgical implantation methods, and the development of multichannel signal processing and pattern recognition algorithms. A further problem is that like virtually all surgical implants, interfaces evoke a foreign body response that leads to the deposition of scar tissue on their surfaces, which leads to gradual electrical failure of the device. A major strand of my work at present concerns the development of techniques for long term scar suppression.
He is also one of the three academic consultants in Oxford Functional Neurosurgery, which has one of the UK's largest clinical practices in deep brain stimulation, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglion stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation, for the treatment of movement disorders and neuropathic pain. Alongside and closely intertwined with this clinical work he is invloved in a research programme investigating the mechanisms by which neuro-modulation treatments work and how they can be improved and their use expanded to new indications.

 

Alex Green

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Alex Green's main aim is to research and develop the field of autonomic control using brain manipulation. This fits in with his clinical work that includes deep brain stimulation of a number of brain targets for conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, tremor, and chronic pain. His research has focussed on the autonomic effects of midbrain stimulation including alteration of blood pressure, respiratory and bladder parameters. More recently he has been focussing on mechanisms by which cardiorespiratory parameters are controlled in the human brain, by applying techniques such as Doppler blood flow studies and muscle sympathetic nerve activity. Thus he has been elucidating neural circuitry within the brain that is important for higher autonomic control. There are a number of directions in which he intends to further this work. Firstly, more work is needed to look at mechanisms and phenotypic effects of stimulation. Secondly, analysis of local field potentials allows us to work out how the brain is signalling changes in cardiovascular states, the subject of a number of papers. Thirdly, the ultimate aim is to translate these findings to human therapies for cardiovascular or respiratory disorders. The next step is to develop chronic animal models and refine stimulation systems with biofeedback mechanisms that can control disease symptoms. Fourthly, these results need to be translated to the human patient with these conditions.

 

Erlick Pereira

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Mr Pereira is Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery at St George's, University of London and Affiliated Professor at the University of Porto.  He is a Consultant Neurosurgeon at St George's Hospital with subspecialty interests in functional and complex spinal surgery.  His main research interests are deep brain stimulation, electrophysiology, neuroimaging, education, clinical outcomes and clinical trials.

 

Professor Ludvic Zrinzo

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Professor Zrinzo is Head of the UCL Unit of Functional Neurosurgery at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. He completed neurosurgical training in London and two specialist fellowships in London and at UCLA, Los Angeles. His research includes the use of imaging to improve the safety, accuracy and efficacy of stereotactic functional neurosurgery and investigation of new brain targets and indications for surgery.

The Unit of Functional Neurosurgery is the busiest UK centre for stereotactic functional neurosurgery and has been described as a “international benchmark for Parkinson’s disease surgery”. The Unit has an extensive research profile including clinical trials and research into mechanism of action of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease, tremor and dystonia, as well as cluster headache, Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder.


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Last Updated: 4 December 2018