Organization profile

Organisation profile

The Multiple Sclerosis and Stem Cell Research Group is part of the University of Bristol's Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, based at the Burden Centre at Frenchay Hospital. Our research activities centre on the underlying cell biology of multiple sclerosis,  the development and implementation of myelin repair treatments, and understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration.


Our research focuses on the underlying pathology of MS and the slowing or reversal of these pathologies.

Stem cells, with their significant potential for replication, provide a possible tool in slowing, halting or even reversing MS pathology. We work predominantly with adult human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) derived from bone marrow. MSCs have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of MS, but their mechanism of action are not fully understood.  Possible mechanisms include release of trophic factors, cell to cell interactions, fusion with host cells, vesicle formation, differentiation into new cells and immunomodulation. We collaborate with colleagues within and beyond Bristol; for example, Professor David Wraith (University of Bristol Department of Pathology and Microbiology) to investigate ways to manipulate the immune system in the hope that new treatments can be developed.

We are also researching the cause of axon loss in the disease exploring several observations on axon dysfunction and translating these into the development of new therapies for chronic disease progression.

We are also interested in the mechanisms by which human bone marrow derived stem cells may protect cerebellar neurons from degeneration and are extending these observations in models of Friedreich's ataxia. We are interested in the potential of these cells as a therapy for a variety of ataxic conditions. We are also looking into Induced Pluripotent stem cells as a tool for further research and possible therapy.

Our clinical research within the lab focuses on the causes of disability in chronic MS; we also collect samples from patients for research to explore both the brain and the immune system and how they respond to MS disease processes and to different treatments.

How to find us

Google map and directions
Southmead Hospital site map - Learning & Research (PDF, 314kB)


Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Multiple Sclerosis and Stem Cell Group is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

    Research Output

    Abnormal scaffold attachment factor 1 expression and localisation in spinocerebellar ataxias and huntington’s chorea

    Buckner, N., Kemp, K. C., Scott, H. L., Shi, G., Rivers, C. A., Gialeli, A., Wong, L-F., Cordero Llana, O., Allen, N., Wilkins, A. & Uney, J. B., 24 Jun 2020, In : Brain Pathology. 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 18 Downloads (Pure)

    A Neurologist's Guide to REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder

    Roguski, A., Rayment, D., Whone, A., Jones, M. & Rolinski, M., 25 May 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Frontiers in Neurology. 32 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)

  • Brain biopsy before or after treatment with corticosteroids

    Rice, C. M., Renowden, S. A., Urankar, K., Love, S. & Scolding, N. J., 28 Apr 2020, In : Neuroradiology. 2 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter (Academic Journal)

  • Projects

    Student theses

    Towards Measures for Translation : An Exploration of Neurophysiological Biomarkers of Disability in Multiple Sclerosis

    Author: Canham, L. J. W., 7 May 2019

    Supervisor: Cottrell, D. A. (Supervisor) & Whone, A. L. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)



    • 2 Participation in conference
    • 1 Editorial activity

    X Northern Lights Neuroscience Symposium

    Claire M Rice (Participant)

    24 May 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    British Neuropathological Society 2013

    Claire M Rice (Participant)

    15 Mar 2013

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    BMJ (Journal)

    Neil J Scolding (Editor)


    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity