Our Research

The major unmet need for patients at the Anne Rowling Clinic is the absence of effective treatments. Our research strategy is to integrate clinical and laboratory research with the aim of innovating and trialling new treatments. 

For a jargon-free description, please read our Research Strategy.

Clinical Research

The Anne Rowling Clinic is the Edinburgh hub for clinical trials into neurodegenerative diseases.

Our clinical research strategy is underpinned by Scotland's exceptional data resources and excellence in e-health research. We are therefore well positioned to develop powerful longitudinal patient or disease registries that will both improve health provision as well as enable targeted patient research including clinical trials. With these data we can accelerate accurate diagnosis, study the natural history and prognosis of disease, and develop aids to maintain quality of life. Current projects include:

  • 3D functional imaging of the brainSpeak:Unique - The Voicebank Research Project: Collaboration with Edinburgh Informatics to generate bespoke synthesised voices for patients who have voice difficulties (Phillipa Rewaj).
  • The Edinburgh Cognitive Diagnosis Audit Research and Treatment (CDC-DART) Register, to better understand the clinical features of cognitive disorders, enable earlier diagnosis and evaluate treatments (Suvankar Pal).
  • LINCHPIN: Using clinical and genetic analysis, brain imaging and neuropathology to understand the causes of brain haemorrhage (Neshika Samarasekera).
  • CARE-MND: To monitor and improve care and outcomes for motor neurone disease patients (Laura Stephenson).
  • Edinburgh Cognitive ALS screen: Battery of psychological tests to measure cognitive changes in motor neurone disease patients (Sharon Abrahams and Thomas Bak).

Laboratory Research

Many of our laboratory-based studies are focused on stem cells, a particularly strong research area at the University of Edinburgh, the birthplace of Dolly the sheep. Current projects include:

Researcher pipetting liquid


Please see our featured publications and visit the web pages of the Anne Rowling Clinic staff for details of their individual research interests.