Edinburgh Research Explorer

Siddharthan Chandran

MacDonald Chair of Neurology

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor in Philosophy, University of Cambridge
Bachelor of Medicine, University of Southampton
Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton

Professional Qualifications

Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, FRCP
Completion of Neurology specialist training
Member of the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseregenerative neurology, neurodegenerative disease, clinical trials, stem cells, glial-neuronal interaction, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease

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)

At the University of Edinburgh, Professor Chandran is:


Research activities & awards

  1. ESMRMB 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  2. MRC Dementias Platform UK Steering Committee (External organisation)

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of external research organisation

  3. Member, National Neurology Advisory Committee

    Activity: Consultancy typesContribution to the work of national or international committees and working groups

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