Translational Neuroscience

We run an experimental medicine programme bringing innovation to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic neurological disorders. Our primary goal is to rapidly bring forward effective therapies to improve both life expectancy and quality of life for people with these conditions.

We aim to prevent disease through an increased understanding of the impact of environmental factors such as nutrition, the microbiome and physical activity

Our programmes, utilising deep-phenotyping, genetics, imaging and biochemical biomarkers, will continue to subclassify neurological disorders more accurately into their molecular subtypes, underpinning a precision medicine approach to neuroprotective therapies

Our genetic therapy trials are anticipated to lead to new licenced treatments and our SITraN-based drug screening programmes will lead to the identification of new neuroprotective compounds with the potential for translation. Our novel clinical trial designs, supported by emerging biomarkers of therapeutic efficacy and remote monitoring approaches, will allow greater access and less burden to patients for participation in experimental medicine studies

Research hypotheses:

1. Deep phenotyping, harnessing novel combinations of health informatics, imaging, -omics, wet biomarkers and real-world sensor data will more accurately subclassify disease and facilitate precision medicine.

2. Identification of biomarkers and endpoints will provide early evidence of target engagement/therapeutic efficacy in our experimental medicine trials and speed-up trial delivery.

3. Expansion of advanced therapy approaches will transform neurological disease trajectories.

4. Improvement in the design and delivery of clinical trials and personalised neurological care will ensure reduced burden, inclusivity, earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes for patients.

5. Identification of the influence of environmental factors on the development and progression of neurological disorders will allow the emergence of preventative measures and informed life-style choices.

Neuroscience Theme Lead

Professor Christopher McDermott

Professor of Translational Neurology and Consultant Neurologist with expertise in clinical trial design and execution, device development, and symptomatic care.

Read more about Professor McDermott on The University of Sheffield website

Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience

Much of our neuroscience lab-based research is carried out at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), a university owned leading global facility opened in 2010. The £18 million centre houses state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, including a clinical database of over 1,500 patients and a vital resource of human brain-bank material.

Professor Dame Pamela Shaw, NIHR Sheffield BRC Director, is also the Director of SITraN, enhancing our strong collaborations across the two centres.

Find out more about SITraN here.

Neuroscience Sub-Themes