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Personal profile

My research in a nutshell

Neurodegenerative diseases affect cells in the nervous system called neurons. Twenty million people worldwide are diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease each year, and at present they are all progressive and incurable.

The Chandran group links clinical activity with laboratory research into two such conditions: multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease. Measuring disease course and treatment outcomes through disease bio-registers builds an increasingly accurate clinical picture.

In parallel, studies in the lab —including using human stem cells—focus on understanding what is going wrong in the neurons and supporting cells called glia. Bringing these two strands together, the group aims to develop novel regenerative therapies and bring them to early-phase clinical trials.

Can the damaged brain repair itself? Prof Chandran's talk at TED Global (Feb 2014)

Research Interests

Professor Siddharthan Chandran works in the emerging discipline of Regenerative Neurology. His research combines laboratory activity that includes human stem cells with specialist clinics (multiple sclerosis [MS] and motor neurone disease [MND]) to both study disease as well as undertake early-phase clinical trials.

The ultimate aim is to develop novel regenerative therapies for neurodegenerative disease.

Clinical research

Based at the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, clinical research is founded on specialist clinics and linked disease registries to develop a clinical experimental infrastructure for longitudinal studies. Current collaborative clinical projects include:

  • Scotland-wide platform for care, research, audit and trials in motor neurone disease (CARE-MND)
  • Scotland-wide MS brain imaging and genomics clinical research study, towards precision medicine (FutureMS)
  • Speak:Unique, the voicebank research project - using informatics to provide personalised synthetic voices for use in communication aids
  • MS-SMART (phase 2) and MS-STAT3 (phase 3): major clinical trials in secondary progressive MS, led by UCL

Lab research

Research in the lab is focused on the glial-neuronal interaction in health and disease. Current approaches include:

  • In vitro modelling of TDP43 proteinopathies using patient-derived iPS cells that have been converted into a range of functional neuronal and glial subtypes
  • In vivo modelling of the interactions between inflammation, neurodegeneration and repair in a mouse model of MS (Biozzi-EAE)


  • Bachelor of Medicine, Southampton University
  • Neurology training, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London and University of Cambridge
  • PhD in developmental neurobiology, University of Cambridge (2000)
  • Consultant Neurologist, University Lecturer & Fellow of King’s College, University of Cambridge
  • MacDonald Professor of Neurology, University of Edinburgh (2009-present)
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2022)

At the University of Edinburgh, Professor Chandran is:


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor in Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Bachelor of Medicine, University of Southampton

Award Date: 1 Jan 1990

Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton

Award Date: 1 Jan 1989


  • RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
  • QH301 Biology


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