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Queen Square


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Queen Square

  1. 1. UCL Institute of Neurology Queen Square 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: 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 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 include:
  2. 2. • Wellcome Centre for Neuroimaging • MRC Prion Unit • MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Disease • Dementia Research Centre • Department of Health Dementias and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network (DENDRON) 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 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 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.
  3. 3. JOB DESCRIPTION Job title: Clinical Research Associate / Senior Clinical Research Associate 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 NHNN (London) 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 cohort. 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
  4. 4. 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, 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 ( 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. Job Summary 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, Sweden. 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 ( 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 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
  5. 5. 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. RESPONSIBILITIES Clinical • 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 Research • 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 psychiatric assessment • 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.
  6. 6. • 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 strict confidentiality • 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 Communication • 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 specialty • 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 Quality Assurance • Working with members of the study team and study sponsor to ensure quality targets are met • Contributing to and providing input to the multi-professional clinical audit of services Professional • 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
  7. 7. General • 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 & Safety Regulations PERSON SPECIFICATION Essential Criteria • 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) Desirable Criteria • Enthusiasm • 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.
  8. 8. Appointment 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 Personnel Manager Institute of Neurology The National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery Queen Square London WC1N 3BG Fax: 020 7278 5069 Email: Informal enquiries welcome to Dr Tom Warner (email: ). 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.
  9. 9. UCL 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: Surname: Title: Other Name(s): Preferred Forename: Address: Telephone numbers and email address at which we may contact you Work tel: Home tel: Email: Do you require permission/a work permit to take up employment in the UK? Yes/No (Immigration and Asylum Act 1996 – see attached sheet) I confirm that I will provide the relevant documentation should I be invited to interview. Have you ever been convicted in a Court of Law? Yes/No (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? Are you are 64 or over? Yes/No 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 for more information) Do you have a Personal Relationship with any member of staff or student at UCL? Yes/No (See for more details) If so, please give details: To the best of my knowledge the answers given to the questions contained above and all statements made are true and accurate. I understand that any falsification may be considered sufficient cause for rejection or, if employed, dismissal. 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:
  10. 10. 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”. Official Documentation  Current P45  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 become spent. (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.
  11. 11. 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 British 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       Indian Pakistani Bangladeshi Any other Asian background D Black or Black British Caribbean African Any other Black background E Chinese Chinese F Other Ethnic Group Any other background