UCL Institute of Neurology
The Institute of Neurology is a specialist postgraduate institute of UCL. The Institute is
closely associated in its work with the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery,
University College London Hospitals' NHS Foundation Trust, and in combination they form a
national and international centre at Queen Square for teaching, training and research in
neurology and allied clinical and basic neurosciences.
The Institute website is at: http://www.ion.ucl.ac.uk/.
The Institute of Neurology is a member of the newly formed Faculty of Biomedical Sciences
at UCL, and has eight academic departments. These encompass clinical and basic research
within each theme: Neurodegenerative Disease; Molecular Neuroscience, incorporating the
Reta Lila Weston Institute of Neurological Studies; Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy; Motor
Neuroscience and Movement Disorders; Imaging Neuroscience; Brain Repair and
Rehabilitation; Neuroinflammation; and Clinical Neurosciences, Royal Free campus. In
parallel there are currently six divisions representing professional affiliations: Clinical
Neurology; Neurosurgery; Neurophysiology; Neuropathology; Neuropsychiatry and
Neuropsychology; and Neuroradiology and Neurophysics. The Institute employs a total of
around 445 staff, occupies some 6,451 sq m of laboratory and office space in five buildings,
and has a current annual turnover of £33m.
The Institute receives over £19.1m per annum in grants for research from the principal
medical charities concerned with neurological diseases, and from government agencies
such as the Medical Research Council. Approximately 19% of the Institute's funding is
obtained from the Higher Education Funding Council for England which has awarded high
ratings for the Institute in each of the national Research Assessment Exercises since 1986.
The Institute currently holds over 250 active grants, supporting research into the causes and
treatment of a wide range of neurological diseases, including movement disorders, multiple
sclerosis, epilepsy, brain cancer, stroke and brain injury, muscle and nerve disorders,
cognitive dysfunction and dementia, and the work of the Institute's clinical academic staff is
closely integrated with the Hospital's care of patients. Generous support for research at the
Institute of Neurology is provided by the medical charities and especially by the charity, The
Brain Research Trust http://www.brt.org.uk
In the 2008 RAE IoN performed very strongly. Almost 100 FTE staff were submitted for
evaluation, including a number of outstanding early career researchers. Overall 70% of our
research was deemed to be internationally competitive. Three areas of research were
identified as world-leading: Cognitive neuroscience & human brain imaging, Inherited
diseases & molecular, cellular and genetic neuroscience, and Neurodegenerative
disease. UCL Neuroscience is currently rated second in the world by ISI Essential Science
Indicators and four of the most highly cited authors working worldwide in neuroscience and
behaviour are based at IoN.
In the calendar year 2005 Institute staff published 584 peer-reviewed papers, 74 chapters
and 10 books. Thirty-six papers were published in the top 50 of all scientific journals,
including Science, Nature, Neuron, Cell and New England Journal of Medicine. Eight of the
thirty most highly cited UK neuroscientists are at the Institute of Neurology, and there are
seven Fellows of the Royal Society at Queen Square.
A number of important research centres are based at the Institute of Neurology. These
• Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/
• MRC Prion Unit http://www.prion.mrc.ac.uk/
• MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease http://www.ucl.ac.uk/neuromuscular/
• Dementia Research Centre http://www.dementia.ion.ucl.ac.uk/
• Department of Health Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research
Network (DENDRON) http://www.dementia.ion.ucl.ac.uk/
We share many research programmes with the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, the
Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, the Reta Lila Weston Institute, the Royal Free
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, the High Field Imaging Laboratory (Department of
Engineering and Medical Physics), and also the neuroscience research groups based in our
sister Institutes (Institute of Child Health and Institute of Ophthalmology).
The Institute of Neurology plays a major role in postgraduate teaching and training. There
are some 150 graduate students at Queen Square. The Institute runs a number of graduate
teaching programmes, including Master’s degrees in Clinical Neuroscience, Clinical
Neurology and Advanced Neuroimaging. It is also making a major contribution to the new
London-Paris MSc in Mind and Brain. We attract excellent graduate students of the highest
quality through UCL-wide PhD programmes, including the Wellcome 4-year PhD in
Neuroscience http://www.physiol.ucl.ac.uk/neurosciencephd/. Institute staff contribute to
undergraduate teaching of clinical neurology for the Medical School.
Full details of the Institute’s research and teaching activity can be found on the Institute of
Neurology website at http://www.ion.ucl.ac.uk
The Department of Clinical Neurosciences (Royal Free Campus) is an internationally
recognised centre of research and training. Professor AHV Schapira is Head of Department
and Director of Clinical Neuroscience specialties. The other clinical academics comprise
three Readers, and one Senior Lecturer. In addition, there are two non-clinical senior
lecturers, 2 senior technicians and one academic secretary. Research staff include post-
doctoral scientists, postgraduate PhD students, Clinical Fellows and research technicians.
Major basic science research interests are in the aetiology and pathogenesis of
neurodegenerative disorders. Research has studied the clinical features, genetics,
biochemistry and cell biology of Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, and Friedreich’s
ataxia. The Department has an international reputation for mitochondrial research and
established programmes studying the genetics and pathogenesis of dystonia, hereditary
spastic paraplegia and motor neuron disease. There is also a neuromuscular group
undertaking basic and clinical research in peripheral neuropathies, supported by a regular
nerve and muscle biopsy service. A joint post with Imperial College has established research
into neuropsychology and functional imaging in stroke and dementia patients. Clinical
research has involved phase 1,2 and 3 trials of medication in Parkinson’s disease,
Huntington’s disease and Friedreich’s ataxia, and there is a proven track record in
movement disorders epidemiology and development of outcome measures. Finally recent
developments have involved both basic science and clinical research into stroke with
neurorehabilitation research into effects and treatment of post-stroke aphasia and dyslexia.
Job title: Clinical Research Associate / Senior Clinical Research
Grade: UCL CL7 (Clinical Research Associate) or CL8 (Senior Clinical
Research Associate) depending on skills and experience.
Accountable to: Dr T Warner, Reader in Clinical Neurosciences at IoN (UCL)
and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Royal Free Hospital and
Working relationships: All members of the HD clinical research team at Royal Free
and IoN sites, including clinical fellows, neuroimagers,
psychologists, and other administrative and support staff. All
members of Department of Clinical Neurosciences. Professor
Peter Hindmarsh at Institute of Child Health. Prof Chris Frost,
dedicated statistician at London School for Hygiene and
Tropical Medicine. Prof Maria Bjorkquist in Lund Sweden.
Department of Clinical Neurosciences
The Clinical Research Fellow will be based in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at
Royal Free Campus, UCL Institute of Neurology (IoN). The Department is headed by
Professor AHV Schapira and comprises approximately 30 staff researching all aspects of
neurodegenerative diseases and movement disorders.
Background to the project
Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary neurodegenerative condition. It usually develops
in adulthood (typically between 30 and 50 years old) and can cause a very wide range of
symptoms. The symptoms can differ from person to person, even within the same family.
Early symptoms may include: mild uncontrollable movements; stumbling and clumsiness;
lack of concentration; short-term memory lapses; depression and changes of mood,
sometimes including aggressive or antisocial behaviour. As the disease progresses
sufferers may develop many different symptoms which can include: involuntary movements;
difficulty in speech and swallowing; weight loss; sleep disturbance; emotional changes
resulting in stubbornness, frustration, mood swings and depression; deterioration of
cognitive functions, resulting in a loss of drive, initiative and organisational skills as well as
memory and attention problems.
A variety of neuroendocrine/metabolic abnormalities have been identified in HD mouse
models. These result in severe weight loss, alteration in circadian rhythms, sleep
disturbance, and abnormal pancreatic and adipocyte function. Our recent work suggests an
altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in HD patients and transgenic mice. A catabolic
profile is also found in early HD, indicating that alterations affecting energy homeostasis are
a part of early HD pathogenesis. Abnormal pancreatic function is present in transgenic mice,
with development of type I diabetes. Limited human studies found increased incidence of
diabetes/abnormal glucose tolerance. Our pilot studies identified reduced serum leptin and
increased serum ghrelin in early and moderately affected HD patients, and data from NMR
metabonomics in London show significantly elevated plasma glucose in the affected HD
Although genetic testing can establish whether people will go on to develop HD there is
currently no way of determining either the age at which they will develop the disease or the
subsequent rate of progression. The focus of much of the current research is to identify early
markers that can predict and track disease progression (biomarkers). Such biomarkers are
essential for determining the effectiveness of new treatments at slowing down disease
progression. Further details of HD and clinical research conducted by the NHNN clinic can
be found on our website, www.hdresearch.ucl.ac.uk.
The purpose of this study is to perform a definitive, pragmatic analysis of neuroendocrine
and metabolic factors in cohorts of pre-manifest HD gene carriers, stage III HD subjects and
matched controls to identify potential biomarkers with which to monitor disease state and
progression. These may also represent therapeutic targets which can reverse the catabolic
profile seen in HD.
The Neuroendocrine study of HD is funded by the Cure Huntington’s Disease Initiative
(CHDI), Inc, New York (www.highqfoundation.org). This is a private philanthropic foundation
established in 2002 with the mission of bringing together academia, industry, governmental
agencies, and other funding organizations in the search for Huntington’s disease treatments.
The Foundation supports numerous projects related to HD, including basic research, a drug-
discovery program, and clinical studies.
A Clinical Research Fellowship is available for a medical graduate with an interest in
neurology to work under the direction of Dr Tom Warner, based in the Department of Clinical
Neurosciences. H/She will also work with Professor Peter Hindmarsh, Professor of
Endocrinology at Institute of Child Health, Professor Chris Frost, London School of hygiene
and tropical medicine and Prof Maria Bjorkquist in Neuroscience unit, University of Lund,
The project is a clinical translational project, and is suitable for those seeking a career in
clinical neuroscience. The working environment is collective and multidisciplinary.
Enthusiasm, ability to be self-organised, an enquiring mind, vision and good clinical skills will
all be necessary. The candidate will need to have good computer skills. Work with
Huntington’s disease patients and premanifest individuals at risk of Huntington’s disease
requires a substantial commitment from the organisational and clinical governance
perspective. Candidates with a background in clinical endocrinology with appropriate
qualifications will be considered and, if appointed, a suitable clinical training programme
devised with input from endocrine services at the Royal Free and UCLH.
The Clinical Research Fellow will be closely involved with the multidisciplinary Huntington’s
disease clinic at the NHNN under the clinical supervision of Dr Sarah Tabrizi and Dr Warner.
This is an award-winning clinic that cares for patients with Huntington’s disease from
premanifest gene carriers through to patients with advanced disease. Dr Tabrizi is the lead
clinician and there are three Consultant Neurologists, a Consultant Clinical Geneticist, a
Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, a nurse specialist and three regional nursing care advisors
from the UK Huntington’s Disease Association. This Clinic receives referrals from all over the
country, seeing about 40 HD patients per month, and is one of the largest HD clinics in the
UK. It cares for approximately 350 patients and many more at risk of the disease. The Clinic
has an HD Database Manager who runs the coordination of the Euro-HD Registry database
(www.euro-hd.net) and the National Hospital HD database. The NHNN multidisciplinary HD
clinic is mentioned in the UK DoH National Good Practice Guide for care of patients with
long-term neurological conditions (see www.dh.gov.uk). One of the major research initiatives
is identification of biomarkers of disease as an aid to development of therapeutics; this
involves proteomic (with Proteome Sciences), metabonomic and microarray analysis of
blood and urine biofluids and muscle, and the assessment of ocular movements in pre-
symptomatic HD patients (with Prof Chris Kennard). The postholder will be centrally
involved in the establishment and conduct of the Neuroendocrine Study of HD. S/he will
work closely with the other researchers in the HD Clinical Research team. In addition to the
training in Huntington’s disease, s/he will receive clinical training in Clinical Neurogenetics
and Movement Disorders with Dr Tom Warner and have the opportunity to be involved in
general neurology clinics.
For The Neuroendocrine Study of HD, the Clinical Research Associate will recruit patients
for enrolment in the two year study, with assistance from the HD specialist research nurse in
the department. Each subject will undergo a single 24 hour assessment on an inpatient unit.
Recruitment is planned for 15 controls, 15 premanifest gene-carriers and 15 subjects with
moderate disease. The Clinical Research Fellow will obtain informed consent and carry out
clinical assessment (medical interview, neurological examination and administer psychiatric/
psychological scales). The CRA will be responsible for blood sample collection over the 24
hours assessment period, processing of samples which will be delivered to the Biochemistry
Department. An abdominal MRI for adipose tissue will be performed during the study day in
the radiology department and an adipose tissue biopsy performed. S/he will be responsible
for identifying and acting appropriately on any clinical issues arising in the cohort, in
accordance with Good Clinical Practice requirements. S/he will be responsible for collating
the data and liaising with Prof Hindmarsh and Frost for endocrine and statistical advice.
Clinical training and research training will be given at the outset of the study and
consolidated in the HD multidisciplinary clinic.
HD patients and at-risk individuals require expert clinical understanding as many of these
people have significant anxiety and behavioural morbidity which require particular clinical
skills. This is important for recruitment of this valuable patient cohort.
The Clinical Research Associate will also become involved in other ongoing HD clinical
studies of biomarkers and will be expected to develop their own specific projects and
research interests around the work being undertaken within Neuroendocrine study. S/he
may wish to study for a higher degree (MD) and such projects will form a significant part of
the expected higher degree thesis.
• Assisting with out-patient clinics as detailed above. An Honorary Clinical Assistant
contract from the Royal Free and UCL Hospitals NHS Trust will be issued
• Assisting with recruitment of patients and controls by telephone and letter
• Taking informed consent
• Completing formal training and evaluation in assessment of subjects
• Administering and scoring the clinical assessment for Huntington’s disease patients
and healthy controls: this comprises medical interview, neurological examination and
• Blood sample collection and processing, including handling biomarker samples in a
rigorous and reproducible fashion
• Co-ordinating scanning and clinical visits to ensure the best use of resources. A
clinical HD research nurse will assist with these tasks.
• Identifying and acting appropriately on any clinical issues arising in the cohort, in
accordance with Good Clinical Practice requirements.
• Collating data and entering information onto an electronic database
• Ensuring the highest standard of record keeping, maintaining accurate and
appropriate patient records, in accordance with audit requirements, and ensuring
• Helping with statistical analysis of data where necessary
• Contributing to manuscript preparation and submission
• Presenting findings to sponsors and the academic community
• Keeping up-to-date with current work in the field
• Undertaking additional research tasks and projects including collaboration with other
researchers in the UK and overseas
• Assisting with co-ordination of the Neuroendocrine study of HD which will include
planning the study timetable, planning of assessment visits, monitoring of study
expenditure against budget, maintaining study supplies and ensuring that the study
runs to schedule and that milestones and deadlines are met
• Attending departmental and other meetings as appropriate
• Maintaining appropriate channels and styles of communication to meet the needs of
patients, relatives and carers, managers, peers and other professionals / agencies
• Maintaining mechanisms to support patient involvement and feedback related to the
• Liaising with and assisting the HD Research nurse, radiology and biochemistry
departments, and other members of the research team
• Liaising with the current London HD study team to ensure a smooth overlap of
cohorts and assessments
• Working with members of the study team and study sponsor to ensure quality targets
• Contributing to and providing input to the multi-professional clinical audit of services
• Acting at all times in accordance with the highest professional standards, and to
ensure that these are maintained in the delivery of all aspects of patient care
• Ensuring that s/he is covered, at all times, by appropriate medical indemnity
• As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and
amended in consultation with the postholder
• The postholder will carry out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and
purpose of the job as requested by the line manager
• The postholder will actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities policies
• The postholder will maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health &
• Registered medical practitioner
• Completed general medical training to SHO/ST2 or equivalent level
• MRCP or equivalent postgraduate qualification
• Experience in Neurology at SHO/ST2 or equivalent level (equivalent training in
endocrinology also appropriate)
• Be able to demonstrate a record of academic excellence
• Excellent inter-personal and communication skills
• Excellent organisational skills
• Able to work co-operatively in a team environment
• A very high level of consideration and care for patients and research subjects
• Interested in research and a commitment to quality in the research process
• Good clinical skills
• Excellent oral and written presentation skills
• Good IT skills (Windows, Word, Access, Excel, Powerpoint)
• Ability to be self-organised
• Knowledge of medical statistics and research methodology
• Experience of peer-reviewed publication of research
• Familiarity with regulatory requirements and research governance.
The post is available from October 2009 for one year in the first instance, renewable for a
second year and is funded by the CHDI Foundation, New York. It will be offered subject to a
nine-month probationary period, satisfactory references, and satisfactory health clearance
by the Occupational Health Department.
The salary range for UCL CL7 is £30,685 - £38,911 pa and the salary range for UCL CL8 is
£38,911 - £44,412 pa. Starting salary will be in the range £30,685 pa - £38,911 pa plus
£2,781 pa London Allowance (CL7) or £38,911 pa - £40,745 pa plus £2,781 pa London
Allowance (CL8) depending on skills and experience. The post is superannuable under the
Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS) or, subject to eligibility, the National Health
Service Pension Scheme (NHSPS).
Annual Leave: 33 days per annum.
Hours of Work: 36.5 per week
Interest-free season travel ticket loan is available (after a qualifying period).
Applications (2 copies of CV plus 1 copy of the declaration (see below) and names and
contact details of 3 referees) should be sent to:
Miss E Bertram
Institute of Neurology
The National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery
London WC1N 3BG
Fax: 020 7278 5069
Informal enquiries welcome to Dr Tom Warner (email: email@example.com ).
Closing date for applications: 10 July 2009. Interviews will be held soon after.
Please note: Where applicants are short listed for formal interview, references will normally
be taken up prior to interview. Applicants who do not wish any referees to be so contacted
should make this explicitly clear beside the referees’ contact details.
We are unfortunately unable to reply to those applicants who have not been shortlisted and
invited for interview. However, we would like to thank all candidates for their applications
and for their interest in the Institute of Neurology. Please contact us on 020 7676 2191 if
you wish to check the progress of your individual application.
To be completed by all those submitting a CV in application for a post with UCL. Our equal
opportunities policy includes the provision that in recruitment, the only consideration must be
that the individual meets or is likely to meet the genuine requirements of the job. No one will
be discriminated against on the basis of gender, age, race, colour, ethnic origin, physical
disability, marital status, sexual orientation, caring or parental responsibilities, or belief on
any matters including religion and politics.
Please complete this form in black ink/biro or by typing or an audio cassette.
Application for the position of:
Department: Institute of Neurology Ref No or Job Code:
Other Name(s): Preferred Forename:
Address: Telephone numbers and email address at
which we may contact you
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(Immigration and Asylum Act 1996 – see attached sheet)
I confirm that I will provide the relevant documentation should I be invited to interview.
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(Declaration subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and the (Exceptions)
(Amendment) order 1986 – see attached sheet)
If yes, please give details:
How many days sick leave have you had in the last 24 months?
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It is UCL policy that staff normally retire on the 31st July following their 65th birthday. In line
with this UCL will not normally employ someone who is within six months of that date.
(See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/retirement.php for more information)
Do you have a Personal Relationship with any member of staff or student at UCL? Yes/No
(See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/personal_relationships.php for more details)
If so, please give details:
To the best of my knowledge the answers given to the questions contained above and all
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I give my consent to UCL to process sensitive data for the purposes of personnel
administration. My consent is conditional upon UCL complying with the obligations and
duties under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Signature of applicant: Date:
IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM ACT 1996
Under Section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 it is a criminal offence to employ
someone who does not have permission to be in, or to work in, the United Kingdom. The Act
does provide a defence against a potential charge of employing an illegal worker if we can
show that the person produced an "official document" when they commenced employment.
You are asked to provide one of the following “official documents”.
Passport from an EEA country or visa stamp showing permission to work (for further
advice, contact Human Resources)
• Birth certificate from an EEA country
Please note that a National Insurance number does not automatically indicate that the
individual is eligible to work, and is not sufficient evidence.
REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT 1974
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 is intended to ensure that a person convicted of a
criminal offence (whether in Great Britain or abroad), not involving a sentence of more than
2.5 years’ imprisonment who has not since re-offended for a specified period of time (a
rehabilitation period) related to the severity of their sentence is treated as if the offence,
conviction and sentence had never occurred. Sentences of more than 2.5 years put an
individual concerned outside the scope of the Act. Such convictions can never therefore
(Exceptions) (Amendment) order 1986
Exempted professions NOT covered by The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 are:-
• Medical practitioner
• Barrister (in England and Wales), advocate (in Scotland), solicitor
• Chartered accountant, certified accountant
• Dentist, dental hygienist, dental auxiliary
• Veterinary surgeon
• Nurse, midwife
• Ophthalmic optician, dispensing optician
• Pharmaceutical chemist
• Registered teacher (in Scotland)
• Any profession to which the Professions Supplementary to Medicine Act 1960 applies
and which is undertaken following registration under the Act.
CONFIDENTIAL: EO CLASSIFICATION FORM Applicant Nº:
UCL has a commitment to ensuring that staff are appointed, retained and promoted on the
basis of merit, regardless of ethnic origin, sex or disability. Monitoring enables us to see
what is happening in practice, to assess the impact of our equal opportunities policy and its
implementation, to set any targets for improvements, and measure and publish progress. To
enable us to do this, and to make the exercise successful, we rely on the following details.
On receipt, this form will be separated from your application form/CV. The information
provided will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be used for the purposes of
monitoring. Thank you for your co-operation.
Name Job Title/Ref. Nº
Please complete all 5 sections:
1. Ethnic Group 2. Sex
A White Male Female
Irish 3. Nationality
Any other White background
B Mixed Race 4. Are you disabled or do you have an
impairment or medical condition?
White and Black Caribbean
White and Black African Yes
White and Asian No
Any other Mixed Race background (Examples of a ‘condition’ may include
impairment of senses, co-ordination,
memory, mobility, learning, health or
well being. )
C Asian or Asian British 5. Date of birth
Any other Asian background
D Black or Black British
Any other Black background
F Other Ethnic Group
Any other background