I am Emeritus Professor of Neuroimmunology at the University of Oxford, and an Emeritus Fellow of Somerville College. I hold an Honorary Consultant position in Immunology and run the Clinical Neuroimmunology service which is an international referral centre for the measurement of antibodies in neurological diseases. Together with my colleagues I collaborate with neurologists worldwide. I was formerly Head of Department of Clinical Neurology (2005-2008), and am a Past President of the International Society of Neuroimmunology, and an Associate Editor of Brain. I was a co-applicant and group leader of OXION, the Wellcome Trust-funded Integrative Physiology Initiative "Ion channels and Diseases of Electrically Excitable Cells". I am a member of Faculty of 1000 (Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Disease and Regeneration).
MBBS (Hon PhD Bergen) FRCPath FMedSci FRS
Emeritus Professor of Neuroimmunology
My major interest is in the role of autoimmunity in neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis and auto-antibody mediated ion channel and receptor disorders. Recent advances have included (a) the discovery that maternal antibodies to different fetal proteins can cause rare neuromuscular disorders, and may be involved in some forms of autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders; (b) the definition and characterisation of a new form of myasthenia gravis associated with antibodies to a receptor tyrosine kinase, MuSK, that performs an important maintenance role at the neuromuscular junction; and (c) the recognition that some central nervous system disorders, involving memory loss, seizures, movement disorders, can be caused by antibodies to potassium ion channels and to various receptor proteins. In these, and several other conditions, we are devising new ways to measure the pathogenic antibodies for better clinical diagnosis, and establishing model in vitro and in vivo systems for investigation of the pathophysiology of the diseases. My group also works, in collaboration with Profs David Beeson and Nick Willcox, on the genetics of myasthenia and the factors that determine autoimmune responses to the main target, the acetylcholine receptor.
Sources of funding
- Wellcome Trust
- Muscular Dystrophy Campaign
- Patrick Berthoud Trust
- The EU
- PNSneuronet for work on paraneoplastic diseases
- Euromyasthenia network
Paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration and lambert-eaton myasthenia in a patient with merkel cell carcinoma and voltage-gated calcium channel antibodies.
Pavolucci L. et al, (2017), Muscle Nerve, 56, 998 - 1000
Persistent microglial activation and synaptic loss with behavioral abnormalities in mouse offspring exposed to CASPR2-antibodies in utero.
Coutinho E. et al, (2017), Acta Neuropathol, 134, 567 - 583
Redefining progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity and myoclonus after the discovery of antibodies to glycine receptors.
Crisp SJ. et al, (2017), Curr Opin Neurol, 30, 310 - 316
Focal CA3 hippocampal subfield atrophy following LGI1 VGKC-complex antibody limbic encephalitis.
Miller TD. et al, (2017), Brain, 140, 1212 - 1219
Pitfalls in the detection of N-methyl-d-aspartate-receptor (NMDA-R) antibodies.
Gastaldi M. et al, (2017), Clin Biochem, 50, 354 - 355