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Our research on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the commonest form of motor neuron disease (MND), and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) extends from molecules right through to patients. In the Oxford Motor Neuron Disease Centre we are working on understanding:

Molecular mechanisms of disease and biomarkers

  • We have created models of ALS to investigate the effect of human genetic mutations in mice and motor neurons derived from stem cells grown from the skin of ALS patients. These models are being used to identify drug targets. 
  • We have a major program of research on fluid biomarkers of disease activity (Oxford Study for Biomarkers in MND, BioMOx).
  • We perform proteomic analysis of extracellular vesicles (exosomes and microvesicles) extracted from cerebrospinal fluid, in collaboration with the Target Discovery Institute.


  • We are conducting large-scale neural network structure and functional studies using advanced neuroimaging (MRI) and neurophysiology (e.g. MEG) based at The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (WIN) and the Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA).
  • These data are used in conjunction with fluid biomarkers in the Oxford Study for Biomarkers in MND (BioMOx).

Patient-focused research, cohorts and clinical services