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UOA 9 - Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology
University of Edinburgh
RA5a: Research environment and esteem
1.1 OVERALL STRATEGY
In Edinburgh we view Psychiatry and Neuroscience as quintessentially interdisciplinary, embracing myriad specialities and technologies from genetics and cell biology through animal models to human disease studies, brain imaging and computational modelling. We believe this cross-disciplinary approach to be the most effective to meet the research challenges and translational opportunities of the 21st century.
The University of Edinburgh College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (CMVM; Head, Prof John Savill) is one of the world's leading forces in translational research. Our approach ranges from molecules to man, from bench to bedside and from process to population. To optimally effect this in psychiatry and neuroscience, we have coalesced four major interdisciplinary research centres into an internationally-outstanding research institute, Edinburgh Neuroscience; (co-directors: Profs Richard Morris, FRS, and Charles Warlow). Edinburgh Neuroscience, an “Institute without Walls”, aims to drive fundamental genetic, cellular, organ and systems neuroscience underpinning pathogenesis into mechanistic understanding and future diagnostics and therapeutics of important diseases of the nervous system. With over 500 staff, Edinburgh Neuroscience ensures critical mass in clinical and basic research, postgraduate training and bedside-to-bench and bench-to-bedside translation of basic neuroscience and clinical practice. Thus, we have overcome traditional boundaries between "wet" and "dry lab" or basic and clinical neurosciences, allowing basic scientists to undertake fundamental research in a clinical context and clinician-scientists to work cheek-by-jowl with basic neuroscientists in the laboratory. All CMVM neuroscientists are integrated into Edinburgh Neuroscience and are submitted here. We believe that Edinburgh Neuroscience is becoming world-renowned for integrative and translational neuroscience research and postgraduate training. In creating this exciting major new initiative we believe we have surpassed our ambitious plans laid out in RAE2001.
1.2 STRUCTURAL CHANGES 2001-7
During this RAE period the University restructured (2001), merging nine Faculties into three powerful Colleges (CMVM, Science and Engineering [S&E], Humanities and Social Sciences [HSS]). CMVM now encompasses all neuroscience other than psychology [UoA44] and neuroinformatics [UoA23] which are closely linked via our Interdisciplinary Research Centre structure (at RAE2001, neuroscience was dispersed amongst several Faculties and 14 departments). CMVM maintains and has developed our consistent 30 year strategy of interdisciplinarity in research, anticipating many of the now widely recognised challenges that face training and excellence in research and translation. This process started with the formation of the paradigmatic Centre for Reproductive Biology in 1972 and the Centre for Neuroscience in 1993. We have achieved this goal by concentrating resources within Centres in which a critical mass of clinical and basic scientists interact closely around a common theme in order to add substantial value to each other’s science. The success of our interdisciplinary strategy in neuroscience in this RAE period has enabled a step-change improvement in infrastructure (£48M investment) and staffing (24 new senior/tenure-track academic posts). The formation of Edinburgh Neuroscience has been mirrored by the establishment of two equivalent Institutes in medical subjects, the Queen’s Medical Research Institute and the Institute for Genetics and Molecular Medicine [both UoA4]. Edinburgh Neuroscience spans genes, molecules, cells and networks to organs, organisms and disease from individuals to populations. It has a strong internal coherence, with highly integrated and interactive research programmes and a clear emphasis on high quality research training for clinical and non-clinical scientists.
1.2.1 Interdisciplinary Research Centres within Edinburgh Neuroscience
Edinburgh Neuroscienceencompasses four major Centres reflecting clinical, systems, cellular and molecular approaches:
1. Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS; director Prof Peter Sandercock).
2. Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems (CCNS; director Prof Richard Morris, FRS).
3. Centre for Neuroscience Research (CNR; director Prof Peter Brophy).
4. Centre for Integrative Physiology (CIP; director Prof Mike Shipston).
Naturally, within such a highly collaborative environment, there are numerous examples of strategically important links between Centres within Edinburgh Neuroscience and with other Institutes. For example, Morris is on CCBS, CCNS and CNR executives, Sandercock on CCBS and CNR executives, ffrench-Constant is also deputy director of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine [UoA4]. There are important links with neuroinformatics (College S&E) and cognitive psychology (College HSS), especially though CCNS. The Centres are the main ‘groups’ returned, since they administrate awards, apportion space and host postgraduate students.
Vitality over the period has been excellent, as measured in major new initiatives and awards, research success and staff recruitment.
1.3.1 Key new initiatives, awards and translational successes include:
- £2.5M award of a Multiple Sclerosis Research Centre (MS Society) with matching University funding (Brophy, ffrench-Constant, Sandercock), the biggest single investment in UK research made by the MS Society
- National CJD Surveillance Contract (£20M DoH: Knight, Will, Ironside)
- ‘Disconnected Mind’ (£11M commitment, £4.1M already awarded) from Help the Aged linking basic and clinical research in cognition and stroke (Deary [UoA44], Armitage, Bastin, Horsburgh, McCulloch, Morris, Sandercock, Starr, Wardlaw)
- £7M SINAPSE initiative in brain imaging (Scottish Funding Council [SFC; formerly SHEFC] and Chief Scientist’s Office [CSO], lead Wardlaw)
- Scottish Mental Health Research Network (£850k, Sharpe)
- Sackler Psychobiology Centre (£1.7M; Johnstone)
- leading roles in major European programmes DIABESITY (€12.7M; Leng) and NEWMOOD (€5.4M; Kelly)
- EPSRC Doctoral Neuroinformatics Centre (£5.7M; Willshaw [UoA23], van Rossum, Leng)
- Wyeth imaging biomarker award (£700k; Wardlaw)
- Symptoms research (£1.9M NCRI; Sharpe)
- Stroke £6M MRC and Health Foundation funding to support IST-3, CLOTS and GALA trials (Sandercock, Dennis, Warlow)
- The Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research (£1M; Ribchester, Sandercock)
- MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Scotland (£59M), including £1.6M MRC Centre Award (ffrench-Constant, Brophy, Sandercock)
- new or renewed programme grants from Wellcome (Brophy, Jarman, Shipston) and MRC (Brophy, Johnstone, Harmar, Morris)
- HFSP Program award ($1M [50% Edinburgh]; Morris [PI], van Rossum)
- Wellcome Genes-to-Cognition award (£6M; Grant [CatC], Blackwood, Muir, Porteous [UoA4], Deary [UoA44], Armstrong [UoA23])
- Wellcome Clinical PhD Portfolio (£5M; Brophy, ffrench-Constant, Morris, Ribchester, Sandercock).
- 31% increase in annual research grant spend (£9.9M in 2000-1; £13.0M in 2006-7), including 25 programme grants or equivalent long-term awards.
- 69% increase in PG students (72.9 FTEs 2000-1, 123.3 FTEs 2006-7)
- Maintained our position in the MRC awards ‘super league’ established 2005 (i.e. 3rd 2005; 2007 in £17-22M group of leading research-intensive Universities 2007, more than double next competitor down), as reflected in our ‘UK top 5’ DTA account. Similarly in top 5 of UK HEIs for Wellcome Trust awards.
- 15 new chair appointments.
1.3.2 Research Headlines:
- Discovery of roles of DISC1 and PDE4B genes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (Blackwood, Muir, Porteous [UoA4]), a Science Magazine ‘breakthrough of the year’ 2005
- role of COMT in schizophrenia (McIntosh)
- role of GPR50 in female bipolar disorder (Thomson, Blackwood, Muir, Porteous [UoA4])
- role of Neuregulin 1 variant in psychotic symptoms (Hall, Lawrie, Johnstone)
- identification of clinical, functional MRI and structural predictors of development of schizophrenia in high-risk subjects (Johnstone, Owens)
- MRC CRASH (Sandercock) and FOOD trials (Dennis) substantially influencing management of head injury and nutrition in acute stroke, respectively
- Cochrane review influential in licensing Alteplase for acute stroke, international guidelines and NICE recommendation for stroke thrombolysis (Wardlaw)
- cost-effectiveness analysis of imaging in acute stroke with major impact on stroke guidelines (Wardlaw)
- first description of transfusion-related cases of vCJD (Will)
- first model of age-related susceptibility to vCJD (Will) with major impact on public policy
- discovery of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibition as a therapeutic target for age-related cognitive decline (Yau, Morris)
- showing how the schema concept pertains to rapid spatial and non-spatial hippocampal memory consolidation (Morris)
- discovering the importance of the Cajal bands in Schwann cell growth (Brophy)
- discovering how different proneural transcription factors regulate alternative pathways of neuronal differentiation (Jarman)
- demonstrating the essential role for VPAC2 receptors in generating circadian rhythms (Harmar)
- understanding factors determining the balance between excitotoxic and neuroprotective actions of NMDA receptors in the CNS (Hardingham)
- uncovering a molecular mechanism underpinning prenatal programming of
affective disorders by glucocorticoids (Holmes)
1.4 INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE
CMVM has made/obtained major strategic infrastructural investment in key areas of strength and opportunity in psychiatry and neuroscience since 2001; total £48M. Headlines include:
- New state-of-the-art facilities (£7M) for multimodal, integrated preclinical imaging (7T-MRI, ultrasound, optical projection tomography, in vivo fluorescence, microCT, microPET, in vivo telemetry, behavioural testing suites) in new purpose-built facilities (opened 2006)
- Major new Centre for Integrated Human Imaging (£16.5M committed, £12.2M already spent) including a new research-dedicated human 3T-MRI (to complement our existing, recently upgraded [£400k] 1.5T MRI), cyclotron and PET/CT to image molecules and cells in vivo, plus 256-slice CT (£3.7M commercial donation from 2008), pivotally enhancing our experimental clinical neuroscience capabilities. This initiative was amplified by the £7M SINAPSE network award, hubbed in Edinburgh, providing senior and support staff for functional neuroimaging
- Psychiatry refurbishment (£1.4M; Sackler and Small bequests)
- National CJD Surveillance Unit building (£3.2M), plus appointment of Professor (Will) and Reader (Knight)
- New multidisciplinary basic neuroscience laboratories (£19.9M) coalescing all basic neuroscience, including new initiatives in invertebrate models (Jarman), neuropharmacology (Harmar), basic stroke biology (McCulloch, Horsburgh), on a single campus (George Square). Laboratory space is designed on a shared, multiple-occupancy basis to facilitate interactions.
2 RESEARCH GROUPINGS
Within Edinburgh Neuroscience, the mission, structure, staffing, major funding sources, recent advances and future aims of the constituent Interdisciplinary Centres are next described. Though the Centres have distinct research subgroups, all interact.
Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences
- Symptoms Research
- National Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease Surveillance Unit
Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Ageing Brain
Centre for Neuroscience Research
- Neurodegeneration and Repair
Centre for Integrative Physiology
- Neuronal Membrane Biology
2.1 CENTRE FOR CLINICAL BRAIN SCIENCES
CCBS (director, Sandercock) comprises 42 Category A (including 7 clinical lecturers [3 new], 3 externally-funded senior fellowships, 2 Clinician-Scientist Fellowships) and 1 Category C (*) staff, with 98 research support staff/postgraduate students, funded by £40.5M grant spend 2001-7 (£39M in new research grants). CCBS, which aims to ‘promote excellence in research and training in clinical brain disorders’, coalesces research in clinical and basic neurosciences of stroke, clinical and basic neuroimaging, neuropathology, CJD surveillance, symptoms research and psychiatry. Formation of this powerful strategic grouping was driven not only by the commonality of the organ studied but particularly by recognition that research in clinical neurosciences and psychiatry hubbed around identical core technologies; neuroimaging, neurogenetics, neuropathology, clinical epidemiology and trials. CCBS has 5 subgroups, all interact across Edinburgh Neuroscience.
2.1.1 Stroke Group (Sandercock [head]; Al-Shahi [MRC clinician-scientist fellow], Dennis, Fowler [Alzheimer’s Society Fellow], Horsburgh [Wellcome University Award], Kelly, Lewis, Macleod, McCulloch, Mead, Minns, Smith, Sudlow [Wellcome CSF], Warlow), total grant awards £13M (2001-7), including 2 MRC 5-year trial awards, 5-year grant support for the Cochrane Stroke group (£0.5M), 2 Clinician-Scientist Fellowships. This established multidisciplinary, translational group focuses on the causes, consequences, treatment and prevention of stroke, bridging basic science to large-scale clinical studies. The stroke group published many high impact research articles 2001-7 including 19 in Lancet and 2 in NEJM. Major activities include (i) animal models of stroke and cerebral circulation homeostasis (Fowler, Horsburgh, Kelly, McCulloch), extending back to the classic stroke model developed by McCulloch; (JCBFMetab 1981:>1000 citations). Horsburgh showed the critical deleterious role of the APOEe4 allele in the initial response to and long-term recovery from brain injury and, with Fowler, the protective role of AMPA receptors. McCulloch highlighted the therapeutic potential of AMPA receptor modulation after brain injury (JCBFMetab 2002; 2004). New therapeutic approaches were developed targeted at protein-protein interactions such as bax-nucleophosmin (Oncogene 2007 and patents) and the proteomics of cell death (Proteomics 2007). Gene therapy exemplified the protective effects of TIMP-1, TIMP-2 and HSP70i in global ischemia in vivo (Gene Therap 2007; JCBFMetab 2001). Ongoing studies address the promotion of structural repair with drugs, cells, genes (JCBFMetab, 2007). (ii) Crucially, explicit links were forged with basic science-trained academic clinicians (Macleod, Sandercock, Donnan [Melbourne]), who used systematic reviews and metaanalyses to show that difficulties translating preclinical stroke studies to clinical benefit may reflect inadequate methodologies in the former (Stroke 2004; Ann Neurol 2006) informing more efficient translation into man. (iii) Strategic appointment of Sudlow linking with internationally-leading strengths in Medical Genetics (Prof David Porteous [UoA4]) to explore the genetic basis of specific stroke mechanisms in large well-characterised cohorts (Stroke 2006). (iv) very large international randomised trials of interventions in acute ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke (IST, IST-3, CLOTS, HELPS, VERITAS; Sandercock, Dennis, Wardlaw). (v) ISAT and GALA trials of methods to achieve safer carotid surgery (Sandercock; Warlow). (vi) better understanding of post-stroke complications and their treatment (Dennis, Mead). (vii) systematic reviews of clinical trials to inform the development of future studies (Cochrane Stroke Group) and systematic reviews of diagnostic test accuracy (Sandercock, Lewis, Wardlaw). (viii) the frequency and prognosis of intracranial vascular malformations (Al Shahi, Warlow) spawning an MRC-CSF for Al-Shahi and key data on the prevalence of arteriovenous malfomations (Brain, 2001; Stroke 2003; BMJ 2005). (ix) CRASH, the largest ever randomised therapeutic trial in adults with traumatic brain injury, which showed the adverse effects of glucocorticoids (Sandercock; Lancet 2004; 2005), aligned with therapeutic advances based on novel understanding of cerebral perfusion in brain-injured children (Minns) and dedicated neuropathological expertise (Smith). There are extensive collaborations with investigators in ~400 centres in 37 countries, many through the International Stroke Trials collaboration and Cochrane Collaboration. A new Scottish Funding Council (SFC)-funded Strategic Research Development Grant (SRDG) network has a major node in Edinburgh (Sandercock), the Scottish Collaboration of Trialists (SCoT), supports excellence and builds capacity in multicentre, network-based randomised controlled trials.
2.1.2 Neuroimaging (Wardlaw [head], Armitage, Bastin, Marshall), a multidisciplinary group formed from the SFC SRDG-funded (£1.5M) Brain Imaging Centre. It has a recently-upgraded (£400K) research-dedicated 1.5T MR scanner, ultrasound and fast network links to collaborators in Edinburgh and seven other universities (UK and Europe). The overarching aim is to apply new brain and vascular imaging techniques to the understanding of common brain disorders and to apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to the assessment of diagnostic imaging tests. Research highlights included: innovative mapping of brain biochemical pathophysiology and temperature in acute ischaemic stroke (Ann Neurol 2006), improved detection of intracranial aneurysms, establishing fMRI, vascular MR imaging and brain spectroscopy (Ann Neurol 2001; Lancet 2006), developing diffusion tensor imaging and applying it to the pathophysiology of brain tumours and acute stroke (Neuroimage 2006), recognition of the MR characteristics of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and the development of systematic reviews for diagnostic tests (Brain 2005).
In this period, neuroimaging research has been strategically enhanced through: (i) SINAPSE: the expansion of imaging capability throughout Scotland supported by a competitive £7M SFC+CSO award [lead, Wardlaw]. This underpins large-scale high quality multicentre brain imaging projects across Scotland, building expertise and academic capacity; (ii) development of innovative web-based platform to facilitate brain image interpretation for use in international multicentre trials (developed in the ACCESS study (Stroke 2007), now applied to IST3 and ENOS, and undergoing further development through the SCoT collaboration); (iii) the MRC Neurogrid programme (£2M overall) facilitates collaboration with centres in Oxford, London, Nottingham and Cambridge to apply grid technologies to the challenges posed by multicentre imaging studies in stroke, psychosis and dementia; (iv) awards of 3T scanner (MRC; £4.2M), major donation funding of a cyclotron ($1M), partnership with NHS (£1.5M) for research/clinical PET/CT, innovative ultrasound, recent commercial funding for 256-slice CT (£5.2M). These imaging developments link NHS and academic interests to promote cutting-edge, patient-based psychiatry and neuroscience research.
2.1.3 Schizophrenia research group (Johnstone [director], Baig, Blackwood, Hall [clinical lecturer], Job, Lawrie, McIntosh, Moorhead, Muir, O’Hare*, Owens, Sibley [nee Whalley], Spencer [clinical lecturer], Stanfield [clinical lecturer], P.Thomson [RCUK Fellow]), total income 2001-7 (£4.5M) including 3 MRC programme grants, collaborative research agreements with MSD and Akzo-Nobel and a Wellcome Trust Functional Genomics programme grant in collaboration with the Sanger Centre (Prof. Seth Grant*),studies the genetic, clinical, neuroanatomical and biological predictors of the development of schizophrenia and other major psychoses, including in individuals at familial risk, exploiting the unique Edinburgh High Risk cohort (Brain 2004). These findings have had a substantial influence on research and on clinical practice (i.e. the probability of effective early intervention strategies). Lawrie, with Wardlaw led participation in Neurogrid, Calibrain and Neuropsygrid projects (£3M; £800k to Edinburgh) to address the methodological challenges involved in conducting multi-centre imaging studies in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders (Br J Psych 2003). Another key achievement is the collection of large families and cohorts of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and patients with chromosome rearrangements. In collaboration with Porteous [UoA4] important novel candidate genes for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been identified including DISC1, PDE4B, NPAS3 and GRIK4(Science 2005; AmJ Med Gen 2001; 2005; Mol Psychiat 2006). The discovery of a role for DISC1 and PDE4B in schizophrenia, Science listed as 5th most important scientific breakthrough of 2005, spawned novel hypotheses about pathogenesis. IPR on multiple gene candidates are held by Edinburgh University. The group also identifiedan amino-acid deletion/insertion polymorphism in GPR50 that confers significant risk to women of major depression (Mol Psychiat 2005). Strengths in schizophrenia research have been further bolstered by new clinical academic appointments at clinical SL (McIntosh; Health Foundation CSF) and lecturer (2 new posts) levels. Each lecturer has had research success despite the exigencies of clinical training; e.g. Hall (awarded MRC Fellowship) discovered functions for neuregulin polymorphisms in schizophrenia (Nature Neuroscience 2006); Spencer identified early psychiatric features of vCJD (BMJ 2002), Stanfield (Wellcome Clinical Fellowship) showed prefrontal gyrification as a vulnerability factor for schizophrenia (Biol Psych 2007; Neuroimage 2007). Succession planning is being addressed by proleptic appointment (recently advertised Chair of Psychiatry).
2.1.4 Psychological Medicine and Symptoms Research Group (Sharpe [head], N.Douglas, McKinstry, J.Walker [clin lecturer]), 27 staff supported by £12M total awards (2001-7), focuses on studies of symptoms and their treatment. Sharpe discovered the link between post-stroke hopelessness and mortality (Stroke 2001) and refuted the link between hysteria and neurological disorders (BMJ 2005). Major initiatives led/co-led by the group include: the Scottish Neurological Symptoms Study, funded by an MRC trial platform grant; a CRUK programme grant (£800k) funding 2 RCTs (SMaRToncology 2 and 3) of depression management in cancer patients; the PACE trial (7 UK centres) of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) treatments (MRC; £5.0M); NCRI COMPASS research collaborative (£1.9M; Edinburgh, Leeds, KCL) to improve management of cancer patients’ symptoms. Sharpe directs the Scottish Mental Health Research Network, part of UK-CRC, linking all Scottish medical schools (£1.4M) and developed and evaluated cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of CFS, shaping NICE guidelines and practice internationally. N.Douglas’s RCTs clarified approaches to sleepiness in sleep apnoea. McInstry extended RCTs of Bell’s palsy symptoms and practice research (NEJM 2007) into primary care reflecting our holistic approach.
2.1.5 National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) surveillance unit (Knight [director], Bell, Green, Head, Ironside, Will), was established in 1990 at the height of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic to study the epidemiology, clinical features, neuropathology and molecular biology of all forms of CJD in the UK. The Unit originally described new variant (v)CJD (Lancet 1996 >1200 citations) at an extraordinarily early stage in its emergence and showed it was almost certainly due to the transfer of BSE to man. Since then the unit has made major contributions (Science 2001; Lancet 2001a; Lancet 2004) to the characterisation (BMJ 2006) and diagnosis of variant CJD (Nature Medicine 2003; Brain 2004), notably showing and estimating occurrence of infectivity in non-neuronal tissues (Lancet 2001b; BMJ 2002), modelling case transmission (Lancet Neurol 2006), discovering the absence of prion heterogeneity in vCJD (Ann Neurol 2004), indicating susceptibility is not confined to met129 PRNP homozygotes (Lancet 2004; BMJ 2006) and dissecting susceptibility (EMBO J 2001; PNAS 2003). Collaborations are global, including locally with neuropathogenesis in the veterinary school (head, Prof Jean Manson [UoA16]) and extramurally with e.g. Profs Smith (LSHTM) and Prusiner (UCSF). The Unit leads two EU-funded consortia, is a WHO collaborative centre, and is a national resource for information about all aspects of CJD.
2.2 CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE AND NEURAL SYSTEMS
CCNS (director, Morris), 20 category A [13 returned here, 3 primarily returned in CCBS, 1 UoA4, 1 UoA23, 2 UoA44], 1 category C(*) and 19 support staff, exemplifies the extensive collaborations driven by our environment. CCNS has attracted a host of prestigious Fellowships (Nolan [Marie Curie Excellence Award, MRC New Investigator Award]; Bast [Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellow]; Erchova [RSE Fellow]; Yau [Carter Fellowship, Alzheimer’s Research Trust; RCUK Fellowship]), £6.6M research spend 2001-7. The scientific goal of CCNS is “to understand neural information processing by the central nervous system, integrating information at different levels of analysis, and use derived understanding to guide development of novel therapeutic approaches to nervous system disorders”. CCNS is paradigmatically interdisciplinary and involves all three Colleges. It plays a core role in the Disconnected Mind (PIs Deary [UoA44], McCulloch, Morris). CCNS has two divisions.
2.2.1 Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory (Morris [head], Bast [RSE fellow], Dutia, Erchova [RSE Fellow], Logie [UoA44], Martin [new lecturer], Nolan [new lecturer], Olverman, van Rossum, Willshaw [UoA23], Wood, Wyllie) is a global leader in understanding hippocampal function and synaptic plasticity. Renowned for development of the watermaze (Nature 1982; >2300 citations) and discovery of the importance of NMDA receptors in learning (Nature 1986; >1900 citations), the group’s strategy for this RAE period has been to build on strength, reinforce linkages and develop young investigators. To this end, Morris, funded by a twice renewed MRC Programme Grant (2002, 2007), developed an entirely novel approach to paired-associate learning (Nature 2003) and, with Wood, memory consolidation (Science 2007). Electrophysiological recording technology in brain-slices was introduced by Morris and Martin and single-unit recording by Wood (Hippocampus 2007). These complement the behavioural studies by Bast, of lesion and neuropharmacological interventions (J Neurosci 2005). The laboratory has also developed new models for investigating cognitive function in animal models of neurodegenerative disease (J Neurosci 2007). Wyllie demonstrated induction of late-phase (protein synthesis-dependent) long-term potentiation in hippocampal slices when CA1 pyramidal neurone cell bodies and dendrites are physically separated (J Physiol 2005; 2006), providing key electrophysiological support for the suggestion that dendrites perform local protein synthesis underpinning plasticity.
To further strengthen electrophysiology we attracted (i) Nolan (Marie Curie Excellence Award [£1.6M], MRC New Investigator Award) who discovered the key role of the voltage-gated ion channel HCN1 in integrating synaptic information in vitro and in motor learning in vivo, acting as an inhibitory constraint on short and long-term forms of spatial memory and opposing the induction of synaptic plasticity in distal CA1 dendrites (Neuron 2002; Cell, 2003; Cell 2004): a commentary in Nature Neuroscience described this as “a major step forward in linking synaptic plasticity, dendritic integration and memory”, and (ii) Erchova (Royal Society of Edinburgh Fellowship), who discovered natural state-dependent plasticity and spike-timing dependent depression in vivo (J Neurosci 2004; 2007). Adding a major computational dimension, we attracted van Rossum, in association with the neuroinformatics group [head: Willshaw, UoA23], who modelled neural processing in layer networks with spiking neurons and suggesting that the balance between excitation and inhibition is dynamically regulated by ongoing activity (J Neurosci 2002). Addressing neuroplasticity in an analogous system, Dutia found that the cerebellum mediates intrinsic plasticity of vestibular neurones and that stress hormones facilitate motor learning in this system (J Physiol 2002), dissected the changes in intrinsic neuronal excitability and protein expression (J Physiol 2006) and indicated a role for axon-guidance-associated proteins neuropilin-2 and dehydropyriminidase-related protein-2, spawning an EPSRC-funded project. CCNS has a number of high-profile international collaborations, including a current HFSP programme grant (Morris, van Rossum, Bonhoeffer [Martinsried], Bito [Tokyo]). CCNS also encompasses the Human Cognitive Neuroscience group (Logie, Morcom [UoA44]), reflecting mutual interests in memory, ageing and cognitive systems neuroscience that integrates behavioural, lesion and neuroimaging methods.
2.2.2 Ageing Brain group (Starr* [head], Bell, Deary [UoA44], MacLullich [MRC-Clinician-Scientist Fellow], Morris, Sandercock, Seckl [UoA4], Shenkin [clinical lecturer], Wardlaw, Yau [Alzheimer’s Research Trust/RCUK Fellow]). In 1997 a major SFC Research Development Grant (£500k) underpinned the creation of a new multidisciplinary team to study the ageing brain. There is now a resource infrastructure consisting of ageing rodent colonies, well-phenotyped ageing human populations, contemporary animal and human cognitive testing facilities, and a brain bank. The University has supported prestigious external investment in MacLullich (MRC-Clinician-Scientist Fellow) with a clinical lectureship (Shenkin) to build capacity. They with Starr and Deary [UoA44] focused on unique longitudinal studies of normal human cognitive ageing, showing test stability over decades (Nature 2002), benefits of exercise (Neurol 2006), the validity of intracranial volume and area assessments (Neurol 2002), correlation of BDNF polymorphisms with cognitive decline (Mol Psych 2006), novel MRS changes in ageing (Brain 2002); glucocorticoids parallel cognitive decline in ageing rodents and healthy elderly humans and the role of the cingulate cortex in this link (J Neurosci 2002; JCE&M 2006); neurosteroids and brain ageing; transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline/protection with ageing. Translational work was strengthened by appointment of Yau to an RCUK Fellowship. She gained MRC funding for studies of glucocorticoids and cognitive ageing in 11ß-HSD1 null mice, with Morris, and in humans (PNAS 2001; PNAS 2004), and a Carter Fellowship of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust to study neurosteroids generated by cyp7b (co-discovered by Morris) in hippocampal cognitive ageing, including in humans (J Neurosci 2006). This initiative has created major and lasting links between clinical and basic neurosciences upon which we are building further to provide a greater emphasis on biological mechanisms of neurological disease. This initiative galvanised the interdisciplinary interactive science that forms the foundations for our successful ‘Disconnected Mind’ programme bid to Help the Aged for fund-raising (£11M; £4.1M already awarded).
2.3 CENTRE FOR NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH
CNR (director, Brophy) focuses on molecular neuroscience; 21 category A, 3 category C* staff. Total grant spend (2001-7) £19.8M, with theannual grant spend increasing 2.7 fold over the period. CNR has rapidly progressed its ambitious strategy, expanding its PIs with recruitment of young stars, forging new interactions notably by co-locating with CIP into newly refurbished integrated laboratories (£12M) and establishing new clinical links and translational activities. CNR’s mission is “to foster interdisciplinary and translational neuroscience research spanning genetic and molecular neuroscience to clinical practice”. Since 2001, CNR has strategically recruited to strengthen its two interlinked themes; Degeneration and repair: (Becker, ffrench-Constant, Jackson [RCUK Fellowship], Hardingham [Royal Society University Fellowship and extension to 2010]) and Development: (Jarman, Pennetta, Theil [Wellcome University Award]), adding Drosophila and zebrafish to existing strengths in murine genetics. Translation has been supported by awards from Wyeth-funded TMRC and Pfizer (£840k) and clinical links reinforced with the recent £2.5M MS Society Centre Award (PIs Brophy, Sandercock, ffrench-Constant).
2.3.1 Neurodegeneration and Repair, including the new Multiple Sclerosis Centre:(Brophy [head], Becker, ffrench-Constant, Gillingwater, Grant*, Hardingham [Royal Society Fellow and renewal], Ingham, Jackson [Caledonian Research Fellowship, then RCUK Fellowship], McQueen, Parson, Ribchester, Sherman, Torsney [Caledonian Research Fellow], Yool). Major research achievements include the discovery by Brophy of the role of the Neurofascin gene in regulating the assembly of nodes of Ranvier in the central and peripheral nervous system (Neuron 2005 and cover), the importance of the Cajal bands in Schwann cell growth (Nature 2004 and cover), with Sherman the importance of DRP2-dystroglycan complex in PNS myelinogenesis (Neuron 2001) and mutations in periaxin cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth4F disease. Ingham collaboratively showed how dopamine depletion leads specific striatopallidal cell damage contributing to symptoms in Parkinson disease (Nature Neuroscience 2006). Yool, recruited to reinforce demyelination models, showed that humans and micelacking the major CNS myelin protein, Plp1, develop slowed axonal conduction and degeneration without demyelination (Brain 2002; J Cell Biol 2004).
Repair biology was strengthened by the strategic recruitment of (i) zebrafish expertise, Becker, who discovered the role of tenascin-R in guiding optic axons in the ventral diencephalon by a contact-repellent mechanism and the importance of L1.1 in adult spinal cord axon regrowth (J Neurosci 2003; 2004); (ii) Jackson, who identified the first proteins that interact with and positively modulate the neuronal glutamate transporter EAAT4 (Nature 2001a; Nature 2001b) suggesting potential therapeutic avenues for spinocerebellar ataxia; (iii) Hardingham, who showed that signaling to CREB in hippocampal neurons can be activated by nuclear calcium alone and that synaptic and extrasynaptic NMDA receptors have opposite effects on CREB function, gene regulation and neuron survival (Nature Neuroscience 2001; Nature Neuroscience 2002); (iv) Torsney, who showed that presynaptic NMDA receptors inhibit glutamate release (J Neurosci 2004; 2006); (v) Gillingwater, who identified potential downstream mediators of the neuroprotective effect of the Slow Wallerian degeneration gene (Wlds) (Nature Neuroscience 2001) suggesting synaptic mitochondria are critical mediators of synaptic degeneration and worked with Ribchester (recent personal chair in Cellular Neuroscience) to discover the age and gene-dose dependence of synaptic protection by the WldS gene (Mol Cell Proteomics 2007). Ribchester and Brophy’s student Court won the British Neuroscience Association Prize for the best neuroscience PhD (2005).
Translation was ensured by McQueen who generated in vivo assays to support development of selective peripherally-acting analgesics and anti-itch drugs based on H4, ETA, TRPV1 and mu opioid receptors, in collaboration with industry (GSK, J&J).
Grant*, moved on 5-year secondment to the Sanger Centre in 2003, but retains a key honorary appointment with CNR, giving dual benefits by providing a strong conduit to the Sanger Centre’s facilities for Edinburgh Neuroscience and continuing to contribute to the Genes-to-Cognition collaboration with colleagues in Edinburgh Neuroscience (J Neurosci 2006; 2007; J Cell Biol 2007; Nature Neuroscience 2007). Clinical interactions and translation have been markedly enhanced with the recruitment of Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, a clinician-scientist who, with close links with the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (director: Prof Ian Wilmut, FRS, [UoA4]), brings strong expertise in stem cell biology and neuronal repair/myelination (Cell 2002; Nature Cell Biology 2002; Development 2004).
2.3.2 Developmental Neuroscience: (Jarman [head], Barnett, RE.Hill*, Kind, Mason, Pennetta [new investigator], Price, Theil [new investigator], van Heyningen*, West) aims “to understand fundamental developmental neurobiology processes, including neural fate specification, neuronal targeting and pre- and post-natal brain development”, exploiting a range of transgenic model organisms, including mice and Drosophila, using molecular, cellular and bioinformatics analyses. Jarman, a Wellcome Senior Research Fellow recruited to add Drosophila expertise to existing excellence in mammalian neurodevelopment, demonstrated a novel mechanism by which EGF signalling controls specific gene expression during neurogenesis by stimulating proneural gene autoregulation (Developmental Cell 2004), spawning a Wellcome-funded programme with Armstrong (Informatics [UoA23]) to identify gene regulatory pathways involved in neurogenesis. Jarman also provided the first common molecular mechanism between muscle development in flies and myotonic dystrophy in humans (Curr Biol 2001) and discovered Amos, a proneural gene related to vertebrate neurogenins (Development 2003). In building the fly team we recruited, Pennetta, who showed that the drosophila VAP33 homologue mediates interactions between microtubules and the presynaptic membrane, thus playing a pivotal role during bouton budding (Cell 2002; Neuron 2002). In mammals, Kind demonstrated that phospholipase C mediates activity dependent differentiation of the cerebral cortex (Nature Neuroscience 2001), that correlated binocular activity guides recovery from binocular deprivation (Nature 2002) and episodes of binocular vision are essential to prevent acuity loss (Curr Biol 2003; PNAS 2001). Barnett, who discovered the role of XEZ in neuroaxis patterning, was linked with Kind to understand SynGAP in cortex formation (J Neurosci 2006). Mason and Price found a central role for transcription factor foxg1 (Development 2004) and heparan sulphation (J Neurosci 2006) for correct axonal guidance in the optic chiasm. Price, with van Heyningen FRS, who discovered mutations of Pax6 and Sox2 in CNS developmental disorders (Nature Genetics 2001; 2003), demonstrated that, along with their well-known role in patterning, Pax6 and Foxg1 are central to early axonal development (J Neurosci 2002) and that Pax6 levels in the developing brain control cortical progenitor cell proliferation (Development 2007). Building on this, West and Hill delineated that the major defect in mice lacking the Pax6 transcription factor is due to lens abnormalities (PNAS 2001) and exploited chimaeras to demonstrate the cell autonomous roles of Pax6 (Develop Biol 2003). Theil (Wellcome University Award) identified Emx2, the first gene directly regulated by Wnts (Development 2002) then characterised further novel Wnt target genes in hippocampus.
2.4 CENTRE FOR INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY
CIP (director: Shipston) comprises 16 category A staff supported by 24 others. CIP holds 3 programme grants, 2 EU-FP6 programmes, hosts an MRC Senior Research Fellow (Chamberlain), as well as other prestigious fellowship and major project grant support from Wellcome, MRC, BBSRC, Human Frontiers Science Programme and NIH. Total research spend 2001-7 £9.8M. CIP aims “to develop and promote international excellence in research and training in Integrative Physiology relevant to human and mammalian physiology and disease”. Research activities are focussed into two core themes of Neuronal Membrane Biology and Neuroendocrinology that span the remit of ‘Integrative Physiology’, defined as ‘the study of how gene products integrate into the function of cells, whole tissues and intact organisms’. There is much integration and interaction with other Centres; several PIs have joint membership of CNR (Jarman, Kind, Price); CIP and CNR have joint BBSRC-funded doctoral training grants (3 p.a.) including in the priority area of integrative mammalian physiology. The repeated attraction of prestigious fellowships including Chamberlain (MRC-SRF), Duncan (Wellcome RCDF) and Mitchell (Wellcome University Award) underlines the environmental excellence achieved.
2.4.1 Neuronal Membrane Biology group (Shipston [head], Chamberlain [MRC-SRF], Cousin, Duncan, Mitchell [Wellcome University Award Fellow], Skehel, Tian) aims “to understand how key neuronal membrane and intracellular signalling pathways (including secretory vesicle recycling and ion channel regulation) are co-ordinated in space and time and how perturbations of these may lead to disease”. In the area of secretory vesicle dynamics Duncan and Shipston, exploiting a novel fluorescent indicator of protein age, overturned previous assumptions that peptidergic secretory vesicles are released in order of their seniority of biogenesis (Nature 2003; front cover). Development of this work, in conjunction with new imaging tools to assay the spatiotemporal dynamics of proteins in cells, spawned a Wellcome RCDF award to Duncan who found functionally and spatially distinct modes of interaction between munc18 and Syntaxin 1 are required for regulated exocytosis (J Biol Chem 2007). Cousin co-discovered the fundamental importance of phosphorylation-dependent control of dynamin1 protein interactions to control the retrieval (endocytosis) of synaptic vesicles at nerve terminals (Nature Neuroscience 2006; Nature Cell Biology 2003). Developments in vesicle recycling will be facilitated by the recent recruitment of Chamberlain who uncovered the importance of post-translational modification (palmitoylation) and lipid-raft association in compartmentalising key exocytic proteins in cell membranes (PNAS 2001; JBC 2005). These investigators exploit real-time cellular imaging tools including developments as part of the EPSRC Bioplatform award (£500k): ‘Advanced Photonics for the Dynamic Study of Living Biological Systems’ network; Shipston and Duncan are co-PIs. Posttranscriptional modification of membrane proteins represents a fundamental control mechanism in the regulation of ion channels in the control of cellular excitability. Shipston, recently renewed Wellcome Trust programme grant (£1M), revealed novel mechanisms of hypoxia sensing mediated via potassium channels (PNAS 2005) and, with Tian, demonstrated that alternative splicing and tetramerisation are important determinants of potassium channel regulation by reversible protein phosphorylation (JBC 2001; PNAS 2004). Skehel addressed cytoskeletal processes involved in organelle movement, and also identified that mutations in the human VAP-B gene associate with motor neuron disease, providing new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. More direct translational research is exemplified by Mitchell who discovered that TRPM8 channels mediate cooling-induced analgesia in neuropathic pain (Current Biol 2006), work that received world-wide press attention (BBC, Science, Nature), resulting in patents and proof-of-concept support (£400k) from Scottish Enterprise to identify TRPM8 modulators.
2.4.2 Neuroendocrinology (Leng [head], A.Douglas, Harmar, Holmes, Lincoln, Ludwig, Meddle, Russell, Sabatier) addresses “how specific neuroendocrine networks generate and control physiological behaviour and how disruption of these networks underlies major human and animal disorders”. The group uses a multi-disciplinary approach integrating molecular genetics, molecular and functional neuroanatomy, in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, functional studies and computational modelling to investigate two main themes; peptide control and circadian systems.
Leng and Ludwig collaborated closely to discover a priming mechanism controlling dendritic peptide release that dramatically modifies network interactions between neighbouring oxytocin cells (Nature 2002; J Physiol 2005) and that dendritic peptide release can occur independently of changes in electrical activity (J Neurosci 2001). Leng, through EU-FP6 diabesity (£1M to Edinburgh), discovered that orexigenic hypothalamic neuronal populations are rapidly activated at the onset of food presentation, followed by activity in anorexigenic neurons when food is ingested (Cell Metab 2006). The group was reinforced by the appointment of Meddle (lectureship) who, with A.Douglas, showed the importance of brain oxytocin in maternal aggression and anxiety experienced (J Neurosci 2005) and recruitment of Sabatier who showed neuropeptides differentially regulate dendritic and axonal release (J Neurosci 2003). Russell revealed central neuronal mechanisms of stress hyporesponsiveness in pregnancy (J Neurosci 2005; Endocrinology 2005) spawning a BBSRC Welfare Initiative programme grant (£2.7M).
Harmar discovered that rhythmic activity of the suprachiasmatic nucleus "master clock" driving circadian rhythms is dependent upon VPAC2 receptors and VIP signalling between SCN neurons (Cell 2002; Nature Neurosci 2005). Linking with Holmes, and with ongoing MRC Programme Grant support, the group have achieved the key step of differentiating food- and light-entrainable circadian oscillators (J Neurosci 2007). Harmar also showed that transgenic mice overexpressing the 5-HT transporter (the target of SSRI class antidepressants) are useful models of anxiety and pulmonary hypertension (J Neurosci 2006). Holmes, who links brain and peripheral endocrinology, discovered the role of 11β-HSD1 in stress axis control (Endocrinol 2001) and in metabolic syndrome (PNAS 2004), linked liver function with brain neuroendocrine control (Endocrinol 2007) and showed how prenatal exposure to glucocorticoid ‘programmes’ brain and behaviour in rodents and primates (JCI 2007). Lincoln, analysing gene expression in the brain and pituitary of seasonal breeding Soay sheep, uncovered the crucial mechanisms that regulate circannual rhythms of physiology (Science 2006), studies with implications for seasonal affective disorders and appetite regulation (£1.5M from MRC and BBSRC).
3 SUPPORTING MECHANISMS
3.1 RESEARCH POLICY
CMVM Research Committee is responsible for research strategy and seeding initiatives. Resources are targeted at Institutes and their constituent Centres. Research Committee supports new investigators and initiatives with ‘bonding capital’ and seed-corn funds, drives integrative and infrastructural bids and ensures translation and novel training initiatives. Exemplar cross-cutting Research Committee funding impacting on Edinburgh Neuroscience include:
- Entrepreneur-in-residence and business development support posts (see below)
- clinical trials unit set-up and coordinator
- course designers of distance/e-learning research MScs in pain, translational medicine, neuroimaging.
- Data warehousing facilities and management
Research Committee represents ‘bottom-up’ research initiatives from Edinburgh Neuroscience within CMVM and the University, facilitating major interdisciplinary initiatives between Colleges. Key examples 2001-7 include:-
- Integrative Systems Biology (triCollege initiative), £8.5M, BBSRC/EPSRC
- MRC-Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CMVM+CSE), £41.5M, MRC/CSO/government
- Disconnected Mind (triCollege initiative), £11M, Help the Aged/SFC/CSO
Edinburgh Neuroscience is the main vehicle to promote neuroscience research. Policy is determined by an executive committee (co-chairs; Morris, Warlow) comprising heads of centres, neuroinformatics, cognitive psychology, graduate studies, CMVM Director of Research. At this level major strategy is determined (structure, infrastructural bids, initiatives, staffing balance). Edinburgh Neuroscience holds annual meetings, regular ‘postdoc fora’ and Christmas guest lectures.
Day-to-day administration occurs at Centre level. Centres have devolved budgets to support local research and initiatives. Each holds regular staff meetings enabling all, including those new to independent research, to contribute to discussion of research development, such as future strategy and infrastructural requirements. Each Centre has weekly seminar programmes with national/international speakers and annual centre ‘research days’ and awaydays when students and junior staff present data, distinguished guest speakers attend and strategy and science are honed.
Edinburgh Neuroscience’soverarching, centre and group seminar programmes (~7 seminars/week during semesters, the majority extramural speakers) contribute to a dynamic interdisciplinary research culture. Typically early-career academic staff take responsibility for organising seminar programmes, providing a valuable introduction to the range of research interests within their centres.
Integration with clinical colleagues in the NHS is facilitated by membership of Edinburgh Neuroscience and its Centres, shared grants and research activities and joint funding of posts where research time is needed to support talented but otherwise overcommitted NHS senior staff (e.g. Prof John Starr, an NHS consultant with formally-agreed part-time academic sessions, full member of CCBS, co-PI on ageing brain and disconnected mind awards). Both Prof Will and Dr Knight transferred to full-time University from NHS contracts during this RAE period reflecting increasing research commitments.
3.2 STAFFING POLICY AND CAPACITY BUILDING
We have targeted strategic investment to strengths, building upon traditional medical ‘-ologies’ whilst ensuring appointments fit our interdisciplinary research structure so as to provide immediate critical mass in support of appointees at all levels. In additional support of clinical academics, we apportioned an academic Extra Programmed Activity (minimum total 6 academic PAs) to all honorary consultant contracts to recognise the efforts required to maintain research against the demands of NHS practice. Teaching administration is supported by the Medical Teaching Organisation, allowing clinical academics to focus on the quality of their research-led contribution to teaching, without an onerous obligation to coordinate courses. All research staff have regular appraisal.
3.2.1 Strategic appointments
Building on our longstanding interdisciplinary strategy and infrastructural investments we have made a substantial number of major new senior appointments to build upon strengths in internationally-competitive groupings and reinforce critical mass across psychiatry/neuroscience. These opportunities have been matched by investment in more junior grades to achieve capacity building across the board.
Since 2001 CMVM has made 15 new Chair appointments (58% net increase) in psychiatry and neuroscience (Dennis, ffrench-Constant, Harmar, Jarman, Lawrie, Lincoln, Ludwig, McCulloch, Minns, Owens, Price, Ribchester, Sharpe, Shipston, Wardlaw), bolstered by 3 new honorary chair appointments of leading category C staff (Grant, O’Hare, Starr). Appointments have strategically built upon major strengths or targeted key opportunities within Edinburgh Neuroscience (i.e. Dennis and McCulloch to reinforce clinical and basic stroke research; ffrench-Constant to lead translational multiple sclerosis research).
Naturally, this environment attracts many prestigious externally-funded fellowships including in this RAE period: 2 senior research fellowships from Wellcome (Jarman) and MRC (Chamberlain), 3 Wellcome University awards (Horsburgh, Mitchell, Theil), 4 Clinician-Scientist Fellows from Wellcome, MRC, Health Foundation (Sudlow, Al-Shahi, MacLullich, McIntosh), Royal Society Fellowship (Hardingham), Wellcome RCDF (Duncan), Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Fellows (Erchova, Sabatier), Alzheimer’s Research Trust (Yau) and Caledonian Research Foundation Fellowships (Bast, Jackson, Torsney).
3.2.2 Career development
Our mission is to provide the highest quality training environment for young clinical and non-clinical neuroscientists within Edinburgh Neuroscience and its Centres, and intensively support career development and capacity building. For clinicians, CMVM has strategically expanded our total complement of clinical lectureships from 32 to 42 (3 extra in UoA9) during this RAE period, amplified by recent success in the Wellcome Clinical PhD portfolio competition linked to our innovative supportive clinical academic training scheme (ECAT, see below), attracted prestigious career development fellowships and supported ‘Cinderella’ areas such as neuroradiology. We have been highly successful in attracting prestigious externally-supported intermediate level posts, for example 6 MRC Clinician-Scientist Fellowships in the last 2 years, out of 18 in the whole UK, including Al-Shahi and MacLullich in UoA9.
Further to build capacity for basic neuroscientists we have committed 4 RCUK awards (Jackson, Morcom [UoA44], Thomson, Yau) with guaranteed SFC-funded posts when the fellowships terminate (2010-11). The University has committed its own funds to support additional RCUK-style post in neuroscience (Torsney, 1 tba) and 6 new SFC-funded non-clinical lectureships (Armitage, Becker, Gillingwater, Meddle, Nolan, Pennetta), opening opportunities for strong new independent investigators in this priority area.
Mentoring, support & training
Post-doctoral and early career researchers
The ethos of Edinburgh Neuroscience is to provide an interactive and supportive research culture to all levels of researchers, including postdoctoral staff on limited-term contracts. All Centres and their principal investigators, supported by CMVM Human Resources, are committed to staff development and training.
Offering mentorship is mandatory for all postdoctoral researchers and currently 38% of postdoctoral staff attend University mentoring and career support exercises per annum (97% found this useful). Local mentoring is formally coordinated by Edinburgh Neuroscience and delivered by dedicated senior staff in each Centre (Profs Morris, Brophy, Shipston for basic neuroscientists; Sandercock and Warlow, clinical neuroscientists; Johnstone, psychiatrists). Novel schemes include regular newsletters, extensive transferable skills programmes for postdoctoral staff, the removal of multiple short-term contracts in favour of open-ended employment and dedicated Roberts’ funding for researcher-led career-development initiatives. Edinburgh was short-listed for the THES Award for outstanding support for early career researchers in both 2006 and 2007: ‘The initiatives that Edinburgh University has devised to improve the skills of everyone from PhD students and young postgraduates to more experienced contract research staff have been so successful that some are being adopted nationwide’.
Each Centre has internal grant and publication assessment panels which provide critical support to research staff to improve the impact and success of grant applications,as evidenced by our 42% ‘hit’ rate by number (50% by value) of MRC applications 2006-7, the best of major UK HEIs. All newly appointed basic science lecturers and independently-supported fellows are assigned a senior academic mentor to advise and guide research careers, monitor development of independent research and teaching profiles. Indeed, all 8 recent junior basic neuroscience recruits (Becker, Hardingham, Jackson, Meddle, Nolan, Pennetta, Theil, Yau) attained significant external funding including: 5 Wellcome, 3 BBSRC, 1 NIH and 1 MRC Project grants, 3 EU grants and an MRC New Investigator Award.
The overall philosophy of interdisciplinary accumulation of expertise ensures there are regular meetings with research peers within and across groupings maintaining constant exposure to new concepts, methodologies and the ‘entrepreneurial atmosphere’ the structure is intended to foster. Centres support active welfare management of their staff; indeed CIP was recently awarded the first Gold SHAW (Scotland’s Health at Work) award for health awareness in Scotland through its active social club and well-being clinics, surveys and activities.
To build capacity in academic clinical neuroscience specialties of relative weakness such as neuroradiology we run a Critical Thinking Skills integrated research training course, including participation in research. We have appointed 2 new clinical fellowships in neuroradiology (CSO-funding), reflecting our commitment to training the next generation of clinical neuroscience academics in areas of need by integrating training with our interdisciplinary research strengths.
We have championed the maintenance of the clinical lecturer grade, increasing clinical lecturers by 3 (1 neurology, 2 psychiatry) since RAE2001. The critical process has been our realisation, well before Modernising Medical Careers and UKCRC, that more time is required to allow both clinical training and the acquisition and maintenance of research skills. We have developed subject-specific models in association with the Postgraduate Dean to maintain research trajectories and this has been highly successful as evidenced, for example, by the award of 6 MRC Clinician-Scientist Fellowships (2 UoA9), 4 of whom were in Clinical Lectureships, in the last two years of this RAE period. Psychiatry and neurology clinical trainees gained 13 fellowships (MRC, Wellcome, CSO) 2001-7; 3 have already progressed to intermediate or clinician-scientist fellowships, facilitated by supervision in interdisciplinary research centres which circumvent the conventional boundaries between clinical and basic neurosciences.
The excellent clinical training environment is set to continue with clinical lecturers encouraged, and given the time and support, to complete a doctoral thesis and postdoctoral research in our Edinburgh Clinical Academic Track (ECAT) scheme, a “cradle-to-career post” academic training scheme for the ST years under MMC, with appointment to a clinical lectureship which incorporates a guaranteed 3-year PhD programme and subsequent completion of specialist training without reapplication. 25 additional ECAT posts have been funded by our recent successful bid for a Wellcome Clinical PhD Portfolio (~£5M).
For basic neuroscientists the highest quality research-training environment is provided, attracting prestigious research fellowships and studentships from the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust and other charities. The total DTA package to this UoA exceeds £200K pa. Total PG student FTEs increased by 69% over the period (72.9 FTEs 2000-1, 123.3 FTEs 2006-7). 126 students gained PhDs, 181 MSc/MRes; 7.7 student FTEs/category A FTE.
The University of Edinburgh was amongst the first in the UK to host a Wellcome Trust 4-year PhD programme, the Cellular and Molecular Basis of Disease (1996-2008), which incorporates miniprojects and PhD opportunities in neurogenetics, neuroendocrinology and neurodegeneration. We attained 2 competitive awards from BBSRC for PhD training (6/year), have hosted 15 MRC block studentships and 7 Wellcome Trust 4-year studentships for outstanding post-graduates to train in our interdisciplinary environment. All Edinburgh Neuroscience PhD students are supported by formal postgraduate committees within the Centres, linking directly with CMVM’s Graduate School which monitors research training quality and provides an outstanding programme of training in transferable skills including genomics, data-management, in vivo skills, statistics, computing and presentation. Our success is evidenced by first-author student publications in highest impact journals even before graduation (e.g. Court et al Nature 2004; Tse et al Science 2007).
45 students have graduated (2001-7) from our MRes Neuroscience programme, >50% subsequently entering PhD training. This complements and is co-taught with the EPSRC-supported Doctoral Training Centre in Neuroinformatics and Computational Neuroscience which provides 10 places/year for 4-year PhD training. This course consistently attracts students with an excellent background in physics or mathematics, enhancing the interdisciplinary culture. Edinburgh Neuroscience also has a very successful portfolio of clinical research training including 25 MDs (2001-7).
In addition to core scientific skills courses provided by CMVM’s Graduate School, the University’s Postgraduate Transferable Skills Unit, established in response to the Roberts Review, offers a wide range of generic transferable skills, personal, professional and career development opportunities, including training linked to the major milestones within a PhD such as academic paper writing, conference and non-specialist audience presentations, intellectual property and commercial start-up. The University is a UK-GRAD hub and a partner in the recent successful bid to RCUK to run an enhanced programme of support for the personal, professional and career management of researchers.
3.2.3 Departure Effects
The major departure during this RAE period was Prof Seth Grant’s secondment to the Sanger Institute. As outlined above, adverse impacts have been minimised by maintaining a formal honorary appointment and strong links have been maintained (J Neurosci 2006; 2007; Nature Neuroscience 2007). 4 Chairs retired and 15 were appointed.
Edinburgh Neuroscience has been concentrated from six sites (2001) to three (2007). All basic neuroscience is housed in George Square, in fully refurbished and integrated laboratories, with modern animal facilities (total estates investment; £19.9M). This is adjacent to both Psychology and Informatics facilitating close interactions. Clinical neurology and neuroimaging has long been based at the Western General Hospital and Psychiatry at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. These sites are close to each other.
3.4 NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS
Our interdisciplinary structure facilitates multiple collaborations; RA2 outputs show 39.5% papers with national and 47.2% with international collaborators underlining the plethora of extramural interactions that thrive in our environment. Edinburgh Neuroscience staff gained 20 EU grants towards a total £9.0M international award spend (2001-7). Major examples include:-
Stroke Group: (1) long-term collaborative epidemiological research programme on intracranial vascular malformations (Al Shahi), involving all Scottish medical schools and hospitals; (2) leadership of international, multicentre randomized trials (MRC CLOTS, MRC IST3, GALA, HELPS) involving >200 hospitals in 20 countries; (3) development of trials methodology is underpinned by The Scottish Collaboration of Trialists (Sandercock), an SFC-SRDG with Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee; (4) CSO-funded UKCRN Stroke Research Network in Scotland (lead: Dennis) and MRC CRASH in collaboration with LSHTM (Sandercock co-PI); (5) CSO programme funding underpins Edinburgh-led Cochrane Stroke Review Group (300 reviewers, 20 countries; 93 systematic reviews published); (6) CAMARADES collaboration (Macleod) for systematic review/meta-analysis of animal stroke studies (6 centres, 3 continents). (7) Kelly’s EU-FP6 award NEWMOOD €5.4M to discover new molecules in mood disorders with 5 partners across Europe.
Symptoms research: Edinburghleads NCRI COMPASS (£1.9M) with Leeds and KCL to improve management of emotional distress in cancer patients. Sharpe directs the Scottish Mental Health Research Network, part of UK-CRC, linking all Scottish medical schools (£1.4M).
CJD: National CJD surveillance programme involves whole NHS: Edinburgh co-ordinates CJD surveillance across Europe (EuroCJD). CJDSU is a partner in WHO CJD surveillance and research.
Imaging: SINAPSE, Neurogrid, Neuropsygrid and Disconnected Mind are Scottish or UK-wide initiatives. Bastin holds an NIH grant on brain tractography with Laidlaw (Brown University). Joint retinal imaging projects with Sydney (Wardlaw) are funded by Wellcome and Australian NHMRC. Carotid Imaging collaborative DoH-funded project with Leeds, Glasgow, Cambridge, Middlesbrough.
Cognitive neuroscience: Morris’s MRC Programme Grant (£1.5M , £2.5M ) links with Frenguelli [Dundee]. Morris also coordinates a prestigious HFSP programme on Synaptic tagging and capture with Tokyo and Martinsreid, and is President of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS).
Neural membrane biology: Duncan and Shipston are members of the Scotland-wide EPSRC Bioplatform programme in Advanced Photonics bringing together physicists, chemists and biologists. Shipston’s recently-renewed Wellcome programme grant has co-applicants in Tübingen and Innsbruck.
Neurodegeneration and repair: Ribchester collaborates with the Axon Degeneration group (Coleman) Babraham, and manages an MRC Brain Sciences Initiative Pathfinder Project with the MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit and Harwell. Brophy collaborates on cell adhesion molecules in remyelination of the human CNS with Reynolds, ICL (MS Society), and D.Colman, Montreal. Hardingham is co-PI on a EU Project "Targeting of stress kinase signalling as therapeutic strategy against excitotoxicity" €1.6M. Jackson collaborates with Rothstein (Johns Hopkins) 5-year NIH programme ($1.3M) studying beta-III spectrin in spinocerebellar ataxia type 5.
Neuroendocrinology: Russell holds a £2.4M BBSRC programme grant with Glasgow. Leng is deputy leader of the €12.7M EU-FP6 ‘diabesity’ (neuroendocrinology of obesity) programme (Edinburgh; £1M) with 27 partners in 12 countries. Harmar manages the International Union of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (IUPHAR) receptor database.
3.5 INTERACTIONS WITH NHS AND INDUSTRY
Close links with the NHS have been facilitated by close integration of planning (Savill sits on Lothian Health’s Main Board and leads its service redesign). We have co-located the NHS R&D Office with the CMVM’s grant management and technology transfer activities in a dedicated unit within our field-leading Wellcome Trust Millennial Clinical Research Facility (CRF) to establish the joint University/NHS ACCORD (Academic and Clinical Central Office for R&D; 31 staff). Staff and their functions are integrated providing a ‘one-stop shop’ for clinical and non-clinical scientists to negotiate grants, indemnities, MTAs, ethics, etc, to speed and ease the delivery of successful clinically-related research. A joint IT collaboration ensures that clinical researchers, whether NHS or University-based, have complete access through a research portal to all relevant information, databases, protocols and training opportunities across Lothian and South East Scotland. ACCORD supports the CRF’s UKCRC-Fully-Registered Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit (Director Ralston, Director Designate Sandercock) which provides core expertise and services for the design, execution and analysis of clinical trials. Staffing includes both University and NHS members with matrix management and integrated working practices. This Unit is a hub enhancing critical mass in clinical trial methodology, ensuring that applications for trials based in Edinburgh are competitive at the highest level. This arrangement is synergistic with external collaborations underpinning trial development and management: the Edinburgh-based Cochrane Collaboration Editorial Base in Stroke (Sandercock) and the link to the SFC-funded Scottish Collaboration of Trialists (Sandercock).
Translation and commercialisation have been transformed by a complete reorganisation of the University’s Technology Transfer Service (Edinburgh Research and Innovation; ERI) with the appointment of a new senior manager from the biopharmaceutical industry (Dr Mike Finnen). We have attained an MRC Translator Award to fund an external consultant (Dr Howard Marriage) as an ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’, with strategic use of SFC-derived Knowledge Transfer monies to employ a supporting team (n=6) with a direct remit to seek and exploit translational opportunities for commercial and non-commercial benefit; a major focus is on neuroscience. The University and NHS Lothian are partners in the Translational Medicine Research Collaboration, a £50M initiative in Scotland funded by Scottish Enterprise and Wyeth. Duncan holds a Wellcome Trust Development Fund award to improve techniques to map intracellular protein-protein interactions in live cells (£470k) with associated patents.
CMVM’s commercialisation strategy has been to concentrate on patenting and licencing which increased 3-fold (23 new filings/awards in UoA9 alone) and 9-fold, respectively (2001-7), demonstrating success. Whilst contract/commercially-initiated research is not our priority, Edinburgh Neuroscience staff undertook collaborations of mutual interest with industry (£8.0M) and were in demand for advice (49 consultancies, £480k) 2001-7.
3.6 MAJOR IMPACTS AND PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT
The ultimate aim of our interdisciplinary and translational research ambitions has long been to deliver improvements in medical and, when appropriate, animal health, to generate understanding and improvements and advances for industry.
For example, stroke – Edinburgh’s large scale trials have had a substantial impact on clinical practice, guidelines, NICE appraisals and led to quantifiable gains in population health, for example:-
- MRC ECST: more effective stroke prevention
- MRC IST: reduction of death and disability after acute stroke
- FOOD: more effective hydration and feeding after stroke, reducing complications
- MRC CRASH: avoidance of corticosteroids in head injury reduces avoidable iatrogenic deaths
The output of the Cochrane Stroke Group (98 published reviews, 13 authored by Edinburgh) has been widely adopted into global clinical guidelines, informs clinical practice, and produced quantifiable gains in health: e.g. implementation of the review of stroke units, showing that for every 1,000 patients admitted to a stroke unit (versus a general medical ward) 65 avoid death or dependency, has had substantial global impact. Imaging determined the cost effectiveness of CT scanning for stroke and carotid stenosis (Wardlaw), taken up across the UK and are impacting on clinical guidelines and clinical practice (RCP-UK guidelines, many international guidelines on stroke management, National Audit Office Stroke Conference). Development of an efficient web-based image interpretation tool for multi-centre imaging studies is impacting on international clinical trials. Symptoms research Sharpe’s work on CBT and CFS shaped guidelines and standard practice. Work in novel methods of screening for depression in cancer patients and simple intervention for screen-detected depression are the focus of international attention for service development. CJDSU first described variant CJD and made a major contribution to knowledge, public debate and policy - in particular policy on surgical decontamination, blood transfusion and future trends in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies - on this key public health issue. Ageing Brain; studies by Yau, Seckl [UoA4] and colleagues in mice and humans have illuminated the potential role of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 as a target for therapy in age-related cognitive disorders, funded by 3 rounds of Wellcome strategic development awards (£3M). This has spawned 6 patents including ‘composition of matter’ and stimulated >80 patents from >25 major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Novel agents are in clinical trials. Disconnected Mind programme is already impacting with public understanding lectures by Deary, Morris, McCulloch. The recent award of a BBSRC programme grant on animal health and welfare to Russell and Fleetwood-Walker [UoA16] addresses housing and treatment of pregnant/neonatal pigs and their lifelong consequences, with implications for husbandry. Edinburgh Neuroscience supports the wider dissemination of publicly funded research. Its members, including PhD students, actively participate in the Edinburgh Science Festival. Edinburgh Neuuroscience is a registered Brain Awareness Week partner. Several members have contributed to Café Scientifique events and discussed their work in the media.
3.7 FUTURE STRATEGY FOR EDINBURGH NEUROSCIENCE
Edinburgh Neuroscience and its centres have been successful because they predicted the interdisciplinary and translational phases of biomedical research and had already brought clinical and non-clinical researchers together in process-driven groupings. The next challenge will involve delivering translation more directly whilst continuing to ask fundamental questions. We therefore seek to further strengthen interdisciplinary bonds between groups in Edinburgh and reinforce links between basic and clinical neurosciences, whilst forging ever-stronger links with other disciplines in basic and clinical sciences. To achieve this we plan, in the medium term, to relocate Edinburgh Neuroscience to a single campus, seeking funding for new build, melding clinical neurosciences, neuroimaging and all basic neurosciences in a unified institute on the New Royal infirmary campus by 2015. This will co-locate Edinburgh Neuroscience with the main site of acute medicine (including stroke) in Lothian, the Wellcome CRF, the hub of Edinburgh Clinical Trials Unit and ACCORD, one of the largest modern animal units in Europe, incorporating multimodal animal imaging and behavioural testing suites, and our rapidly developing Centre for Integrated Human Imaging with 3T MRI, PET (and cyclotron), CT and 256-slice CT, all dedicated to research.
Scientifically, all Centres and their programmes will continue to focus on excellence in science, excellence in translation and major societal impacts. Specific areas for new exploitation include:-
(1) stem cells and regenerative medicine, linking with the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Scotland (Wilmut, FRS; £59M), notably in preclinical and clinical multiple sclerosis (£2.5M MS Centre award) and MND research (recent £1M award to establish the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research).
(2) expanding imaging, particularly developing novel in vivo methods to track pathogenesis in animal models and humans, linking with chemistry, physics and engineering (4 RCUK posts dedicated to this interaction have just been appointed) to create new approaches.
(3) developing closer links between CJDSU and basic scientific expertise in TSEs realising the potential of CVMV’s recent merger with the former BBSRC Neuopathogenesis Unit.
(4) stroke: develop major trials of prevention and treatment for intracranial haemorrhage, of novel thrombolytic strategies and of prevention of post-stroke complications. Exploit novel genetic epidemiological and statistical approaches to discover causal factors. Build better animal studies and models to minimise expensive failures in translation.
(5) expand psychiatric imaging and genetics studies to gain mechanistic understanding, expanding exploitation of animal and other models, and propose novel preventive/therapeutic strategies.
(6) expand symptoms research, driving trials of therapeutic manipulations to address these major unmet medical needs.
(7) develop chronobiology, to gain understanding of the influences of circadian and circannual rhythms on the pathogenesis and treatment of disease.
Thus, our major thrust in bedside-to-bench and bench-to-bedside research in our strongly interdisciplinary environment aims to galvanise translational neuroscience and optimise benefits for knowledge and therapy.
Sandercock, FMedSci: Co-ordinating Editor, Cochrane Stroke Group (1998-09); Chair, Independent Data Monitoring Committees (DMEC) 12 international clinical trials, Chair Trial Steering Committee 3 international trials; >60 lectures international meetings (2001-7); MRC Clinical Training Fellowships Panel (2005-).
Al-Shahi: MRC-clinician-scientist fellowship (2005-); BUPA Foundation Epidemiology Award (2002); Editorial Board JNNP (2002-); Privacy Committee, NHS Statistics Division.
Baig (clinical lecturer): Invited speaker: Anglo-French Medical Society (2006); RCPsych (2006); International Behavioral Genetics Society (2007); Oral, Int. Congr. Schizophrenia Res., USA (2007).
Bell FRSE, FMedSci: CBE (services neuropathology, 2007); President British Neuropathological Society (2002-5); Invited NIH workshops HIV/AIDS; Keynotes (Society Neuroimmune Pharmacology, International Soc. Neuroscience, International AIDS, BrainNet Europe).
Blackwood: FRSE (2007); Eric Stromgren medal Danish Psychiatric Association (2002); Editorial Boards (Mol Psychiatry, Psychiat Genetics, Neuromol Medicine); POC World Congress Psychiatric Genetics (2003-5).
Dennis: Chair, National Advisory Committee Stroke; Chair, DMEC, HTA-funded botulinum toxin for stroke trial (2005-8); Member, DMEC, Stem cell recovery EnhanceMent after Stroke trial (2004-6); Soriano Foundation Scientist Award (2004).
Fowler (new investigator): Alzheimer’s Society Fellowship (2006-); invited speaker, ‘Brain’ (2003).
Hall (clinical lecturer): RCPych Research prize (2004); invited oral, International Congress Schizophrenia (2007); NARSAD "Baer" Prize Psychiatric Research (2007); MRC clinical fellowship (2007-).
Horsburgh: Wellcome University Award (2002-08); Editorial board Neurobiol Lipids (2002-); grant panels, Medical Research Scotland (2006-), Alzheimer’s Research Trust (2007-); MRC Panel, Research Training Referees (2006-).
Ironside: FMedSci (2002); CBE (spongiform encephalopathies, 2006); Deputy Chair, SEAC (2001-05) and Human Tissue Authority (2005-); 2 medals (Sendai, Lodz), 17 plenaries, 34 invited lectures (2001-07).
Johnstone FMedSci: CBE (services Medicine, 2002); FRSE (2005); MRC Council and Chair Neurosciences Board (-2005); Stanley Dean Award (2002) and NARSAD LieberPrize (2007)
Kelly: DTI-OST Foresight Addiction Scoping Committee (2004); EU-FP7 Evaluation Group, ‘Memory loss’ (2007); Chair, Scottish Qualifications Authority Animal Technology panel (2005); invited speaker, Hungarian Congress Neuropsychopharmacology (2005).
Knight: Chair EU NEUROCJD; EU Emerging Newly Identified Health Risks Working Group vCJD (2005-); 2 DH/MRC Advisory Committees; >50 invited international lectures, including Janez Plecnik Memorial plenary (2006).
Lawrie: member, WHO/APA/NIH review DSM and ICD criteria schizophrenia (2005-6); MRC College of Experts; editorial boards (Brit J Psychiat, Eur Psychiat, BMC Psychiat); 3 plenaries.
Lewis: Co-Chair, Cochrane Steering Group (2005-6); Member, Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group (2002-5); Co-convenor, Cochrane Statistical Methods Group (2003-); Editorial board Stroke.
Macleod (new investigator): Pharmacia Young Investigator Award (2002); Editorial Board Int J Neuroprotect Neurorehab (2004-); Co-ordinator, Collaborative Approach Meta-analysis and Review Animal Data Experimental Stoke (2005-); orals Soc Neurosci (2005, 2006).
Marshall: EPSRC Peer Review College (2003-); ISMRM Flow Motion Study Group Program Director (2003-5); Invited lecture ISMRM (2004); Treasurer British Chapter ISMRM (2005-).
McCulloch: President, Int. Society Cerebral Blood Flow Metabolism; Oliver Sharpey Lecturer RCP; Editor-in-Chief JCBFM; Plenary, British Neuroscience Association (2006).
McIntosh: Association European Psychiatrists Research Prize (2002); Royal Statistical Society Prize (2004); RCPsych Research Prize (2005); invited speaker, Causes Schizophrenia, Brazil (2003).
McKinstry: Chief Scientist Office Senior Research Fellow (2005-10); FRCPEdin (2005); Editor, Cochrane Consumers Communication Review Group (2006); Keynote, Association Medical Education (2004).
Mead: SIGN group Stroke; Carotid Endarterectomy Sub-group National Advisory Committee Stroke; Lothian Research Ethics Committee; Invited lecture, CSO (2005).
Minns: Chair, Guidance Safe handling intrathecal intraventicular injections Committee; editorial board CSF Res; 24 invited lectures; 12 plenaries (2001-7).
O’Hare*: President, European Academy Childhood Disability; editorial board Dev Med Child Neurol (2007-); vice-chair SIGN guideline, autistic spectrum disorders (2004-).
Owens: Committee Safety Medicines (2002-6); Vice-Chair, Secretary State’s Advisory Panel Psychiatric Disorders and Driving (2002–); Visiting lecturer, National University Singapore; Keynote, Hong Kong College Psychiatrists (2005).
Sharpe: Research Prize American AcademyPsychosomatic Medicine; Assoc. Editor J Psychosom Res; FRCP; Visiting Professor, Univ. Washington Seattle (2007); >20 invited/keynote lectures international conferences.
Sibley (nee Whalley) [new investigator]: Young scientist, Biennial Winter Workshop Schizophrenia Research (2004); Young investigator award: International Congress Schizophrenia Research (2007).
Smith: Invited speaker, Cambridge (2003); American Academy Forensic Sciences, Dallas (2004); British Neuropathological Society Professional Affairs Committee; Co-author RCPath statement “Minimum datasets CNS tumour reporting”.
Spencer (clinical lecturer): first prize, Autism Research UK (2007); Donald Cohen Fellowship (2007).
Stanfield (clinical lecturer): Wellcome CTF (2007-); BMA’s Harper-Strutt-McMaster prize (2006).
Sudlow (new CSL): Editorial boards (BMJ, Cochrane Stroke Group, BioMed Central Medicine, Stroke); Health Technology Assessment group and Association British Neurologists advisory committees for NICE; DMEC VITATOPS; 14 invited talks.
Thomson (new investigator): RCUK fellowship (2007); MRC Pathfinder Award (2005); Oral presentations, World Congress Psychiatric Genetics (2004); ibid (2005).
J.Walker (clinical lecturer): Invited presentations, American Academy Psychosomatic Medicine (2006); RCPsych Liaison Psychiatry Meeting, Amsterdam (2007).
Wardlaw: FMedSci 2005; RAE2001 Neuroscience Sub-Panel; Wellcome Neuroscience Mental Heath Panel (2004-7); Associate Editor Stroke (2005-).
Warlow, FRSE, FMedSci: Willis Lecturer, American Heart Association (2003); Karolinska Stroke Award (2004); Association British Neurologists Gold Medal, (2005); Chair, Medical Advisory Neurology Panel, DOT (2004-).
Will: FMedSci (2001); TSE Committee, National Academy Sciences Institute of Medicine (USA); Chair, Joint WHO/FAO/OIE Technical Consultation on BSE, Paris (2001); Doctor Honoris Causa, Univ. Antwerp (2006), Univ. Slovakia (2006).
Morris FRS, FMedSci, FRSE: CBE (services neuroscience, 2007); President, Federation European Neurosciences Societies (2006-); Coordinator, Cognitive Systems Project, OST (2002-5); EJN Award, Outstanding Contribution Neuroscience in Europe; Foreign Fellow, American Academy Arts Sciences (2004), American Association Advancement Science (2006).
Bast: Caledonian Research Foundation/RSE Fellowship (2005-8); Royal Society International exchange award (2005); ETH Medal (2003); invited talks Inst. Brain Res. (2006), ETH (2006).
Dutia: Invited lectures: Forum European Neuroscience Societies, Paris (2002); Association Research Otolaryngology, USA (2005); Symposium Motor Learning Performance, Spain (2007); Symposium organiser/speaker, Mechanisms Vestibular Compensation, Seattle (2002).
Erchova (new investigator): RSE Fellowship (2006-09); Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellowship (2001); invited speaker, Cardiff Univ. (2006); Univ. Manchester (2005).
MacLullich (new investigator): MRC Clinician-Scientist Fellowship (2005-); invited lecture, Harvard (2005); Leader, delirium subgroup Older People’s Mental Health Care Services Improvement Partnership (NIMH England, 2005-6); Invited lecture, Royal College Psychiatrists (2006).
Nolan (new lecturer): Marie Curie Excellence Team Leader (2007-11); Young Investigator, Network European Neuroscience Institutes (2007); MRC New Investigator Award (2006); invited speaker, IBRO (2007), LMB (2007).
Starr* (NHS consultant): Hon Chair (2007); Health Foundation Research Fellowship (2003-05); Tenovus Margaret MacLellan Award (2006); Invited lectures, International Congress Vascular Dementia (2003); Italian Geriatric Soc (2005); Mild Cognitive Impairment Symposium, Miami (2006).
van Rossum (new lecturer): POC CNS (2006); EPSRC Computer Science panel (2005); Invited talk Univ. Paris (2007); Northwestern Univ (2005).
Wood (P-T): editor, Hippocampus (2003-); Invited speakers, European Brain Behaviour Society (2007); Royal Netherlands Academy Arts Sciences (2004); Neurobiology Learning Memory, USA (2003).
Wyllie: Council, Physiological Society (2006-); Editorial Board, Brit J Pharmacol (2003-); Symposium organiser, Physiological Society; Invited lectures, Cambridge (2005), UCL (2005).
Yau: Alzheimer’s Research Trust Carter Fellowship (2003-6); RCUK Fellowship (2006-11); Invited Lectures, Gottingen Neurobiology Conference (2001); German Soc Endocrinology (2005)
Brophy: Wellcome Trust Neurosciences Mental Health Committee (2004-7); Vice-Chair (2006) and Chair (2008) Gordon Research Conference ‘Myelin’; FMedSci (2003); FRSE (2007).
Becker (new lecturer): Symposium organiser, German Neuroscience Society (2005); Life Science Panel, Marie Curie Fellowship (FP6, FP7; 2004-).
ffrench-Constant: Wellcome Clinical Research Leave Fellowship (-2005); Grant panels (Chair, Action Medical Research (2004-), MRC neuroscience (2005-), California Regenerative Medicine (2007-); Editorial boards (J Neurosci, J Neurosci Res); invited speaker (Keystone Stem cell niche (2007), Euroglia (2007), FENS (2006), ISDN (2006), Soc Neurosci (2005), Am Soc Neurochem (2005).
Gillingwater (new lecturer): Wellcome Trust Biomedical Image of the Year award (2002); invited lecture, International Conference Axon Degeneration (2006); UK SMA research conference (2007); Panel, Medical Research Scotland (2007).
Hardingham: Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2002-); Invited speaker, Society Neuroscience (2005); Roche Symposium Leading Bioscientists of the Next Decade (2004); Consultant Auris Medical (2005-).
Hill: MRC Non-Clinical Training Career Development Panel (2004-); SEERAD Advisory Group; invited speaker, American Society Human Genetics (2005), Dahlem Colloquia Molecular Genetics, Berlin (2002); Organiser, International Conference Limb Development/Regeneration (2004).
Jackson (new investigator): Caledonian Research Fellowship (2002-4); RCUK Fellowship (2005-10).
Jarman: Committee, British Society Developmental Biology (2003-); National Steering Committee, BBSRC facility functional genomics proteomics Drosophila (2001-); Speaker/chair: Neurobiology Drosophila, Cold Spring Harbor (2003); European Drosophila Neurobiology Conference (2002).
Pennetta (new investigator): invited talks, Inst. Psychiatry (2005); Columbia Univ. (2003); Univ. Iowa (2003); MRC Unit Cell Biology, UCL (2003).
Price: MRC Neuroscience Mental Health Board (2004-5, 2007-); MRC Panel of Experts; Wellcome Trust Neuroscience Panel (2001-04); Human Embryology Resource Advisory Panel (2007-).
Ribchester: Invited lectures, St Moritz (2002); Axon Degeneration Workshop (2006); Committee, British Neuroscience Association (2002-5); Convener, Neural Development Plasticity Group, Physiological Society (2006-).
Theil (early career researcher): Wellcome University Award (2006-); invited lectures, EMBL (2003); GSF, Munich (2003); Symposium organiser, SFB, Dusseldorf (2002)
Torsney: Caledonian Research Foundation Research Fellowship (2006-8); invited speaker, Royal College Physicians (2007); UCL (2006); European Federation Study Pain, Istanbul (2006).
Van Heyningen: FRS (2007); Member, EMBO (2003-4); President, European Society Human Genetics (2006); European Society Human Genetics Award (2006).
West: Invited speaker, Copenhagen(2001); Inst Reprod Devel Biol, ICL (2004); Topology Morphogenesis, Bielefeld (2004); Univ. Otago (2005).
Shipston: Editorial Board, J Biol Chem (2007-); MRC Physiological Systems Clinical Sciences Board (2006-); MRC MAB 2002-2004; >20 invited lectures (2001-7).
Chamberlain: MRC Senior Research Fellowship (2007-); Wellcome Career Development Fellowship (2001-07); Diabetes Research Wellness Foundation Fellowship (2006-07); Invited speaker, American Diabetes Association (2006).
Cousin: International Society Neurochemistry Young Scientist Prize Lectureship (2007); Biochemical Society Cell Biology Panel (2003-); invited speaker/chair >10 international meetings.
A.Douglas: Editorial board, Am J Physiol (2007-); Brit Soc Neuroendocrinol committee (2002-), treasurer (2005-); European Network Excellence Embryo Implantation Control (2007-); speaker, European Neuropsychopharmacology Congress (2005).
Duncan: Wellcome Research Career Development Fellowship (2004-); invited lectures 9 international meetings; International workshop advanced imaging techniques, Harvard(2007); organiser/chair international society chromaffin cell biology (2005, 2007).
Harmar FRSE: Member International Union Basic and Clinical Pharmacology Committee Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR), chair, IUPHAR database committee (2004-); Sectional Committee RSE (2004-); MRC College of Experts (2005-); invited speaker XIVth World Congress Pharmacology (2002).
Holmes: editorial board J Endocrinol; invited lectures, Nobel Symposium, Stockholm (2005); International Congress Neuroendocrinology (2002); 9 invited international conference lectures
Leng: Editor-in-Chief J Neuroendocrinol (-2004); editorial Board Cognitive Processing; Jacques Benoir Lecture (2005); plenary, Japan Neuroendocrine Society/Pituitary Society, Okinawa (2005); invited speaker 6 international meetings.
Lincoln: Chair/Speaker, International Symposium Signal Transduction (2005); International Congress Obesity (2006); Invited Speaker, Society Research Biological Rhythms (2004); Gordon Conference Pineal Cell Biology (2006).
Ludwig: Convenor Special Interest Group ‘Neuroendocrinology’, Physiological Society (2005-); editorial board J Neuroendocrinol (2003-); 11 speaker invitations including World Congress Neurohypophysial Hormones (2001, 2005); organiser/Chair 5 international symposia including Society for Neuroscience (2007).
Meddle (new lecturer): invited speaker, International Ornithological Congress (2002); International Symposium Avian Endocrinology (2004); International Ornithological Congress (2006); International Allostasis Workshop (2007).
Mitchell: Wellcome University Award (2003-); MRC MAB (2002-4); invited speaker, Biochemical Society (2001); Independent Investigator Award NARSAD, USA (2004-).
Russell: Chair, British Society Neuroendocrinology (2001-2); Editor-in-Chief Stress (2001-); President International Neuroendocrine Federation (2003-6); Board International Society Investigation Stress (2002-).
Sabatier (new investigator): Royal Society Edinburgh Fellowship (2007-); invited talks, Federation European Neuroscience (2004); American Physiological Society (2005); Life Science (2007).