Sussex MND Care and Research Network

In 2016 we established the Sussex MND Care and Research Network, the 20th Care ‘Centre’ funded by the Motor Neurone Disease Association. (The first such Centre in the UK was initiated by Professor Nigel Leigh at King’s College Hospital and the Institute of Psychiatry in 1990 and funded continuously from 1995 until now.

The Sussex MND Care and Research Network model of care links local MND teams across the Region to ensure better care and to provide access to research, especially clinical trials, and clinical studies both local and multi-Centre.

The Sussex MND/ALS Research Group spans the Departments of Life Sciences (Sussex Neuroscience) at the University of Sussex, The Clinical Imaging Research Centre (CISC), The Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Universities of Brighton and Sussex, UK, and the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust Regional Neurosciences Centre.

Our research focuses on the causes and consequences of MND using laboratory models with a focus on molecular trafficking and axonal transport (Professor Majid Hafezparast and team); experimental medicine approaches including biomarker discovery (Professor Hafezparast, Professor Sarah Newbury, collaborating with Professor Martin Turner, University of Oxford, and others); neuroimaging (with Professor Mara Cercignani (Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre, CISC) with collaborations with Professor Daniel Alexander and colleagues, University College London and others; studies on cognition and behavioural aspects of MND; and clinical trials.

The MIROCALS (Modifying Immune Responses and Outcomes in ALS: study is funded by the European Union (H2020 award of €6.9M from 2015-2021; Eudract No.2015-005347-14). Professor Leigh is Chief Investigator and Co-Coordinator with the Coordinator Dr Gilbert Bensimon, Paris and CHU Nimes, France.

MIROCALS also receives funding from the Motor Neurone Disease Association, from the MyName5Doddie Foundation, and from AFM (

MIROCALS has completed recruitment as of November 2019 and the final analysis is scheduled for the last quarter of 2021.

Key staff in The Sussex MND Care and Research Centre

  • Professor P Nigel Leigh BSc MB BS PhD FRCP FAAN FMedSci (Consultant Neurologist/Director)
  • Professor Majid Hafezparast PhD (Laboratory Sciences Representative)
  • Dr Basil Ridha PhD FRCP (Consultant Neurologist)
  • Dr Fiona Lindsay FRCP (Consultant in Palliative Care)
  • Ms Heather Hill (MND Specialist Practitioner)
  • Coordinator: Ms Rachel Thomson
Sussex MND Care and Research Network
Foundation year



Professor PN Leigh

Principal investigator

Professor PN Leigh

Contact information

Neurology Research Group, Trafford Centre for Biomedical Research
University of Sussex, Brighton and Sussex Medical School,
Falmer, Brighton BN1 9RY UK

Network Coordinator: Ms Rachel Thomson (


+44 (0)1273 876768 (PA, Ms Pat Butler)

Website Visit the website


Restricted information

Serving population
Serving population

1.500.0000 or more

Patient resources
Population based register


Clinic based register


Geographically matched controls



Type ALS Patients Controls Other
MICROCALS biobank since 2017
Research activities
Clinical management research


Neuro epidemiology


Neuro physiology


Neuro imaging


Neuro psychology


Neuro pathology








Clinical Trials - Industry sponsored

Name Type Patients
Ozanezumab in ALS Ozanezumab in ALS 10
Levosimendan LEVALS 5

Clinical Trials - Investigator initiated

Name Type Patients
PNL Chief Investigator and Co-Coordinator with Dr G Bensimon, Paris and Nimes, France