Our people


The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in the field of dementias and neurodegeneration. In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your dementias and neurodegeneration study in the NHS

John O'Brien, NIHR CRN National Speciality Lead for Dementia

Professor John O'Brien

Professor John O'Brien is the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Dementias.

Professor O’Brien is Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist. From 1995 to 2012 he was Senior Lecturer and then Professor at Newcastle University. He has research interests in the application of imaging biomarkers in dementia and late life depression, and has particular expertise in Lewy body and vascular dementias. He has published over 450 peer reviewed scientific papers on these topics, and is a NIHR Emeritus Senior Investigator.

Currently he leads several research programmes, including a NIHR Programme on improving the diagnosis and management of Lewy body dementia (DIAMOND-Lewy). He is a member of several national and international guideline, advisory and diagnostic groups, and was a member of the NICE Dementia Guideline Group. He co-leads the British Association for Psychopharmacology Dementia Guideline Group and he has had several international roles, including as a Past President of the International College of Geriatric Psychopharmacology. He has a keen interest in teaching and training, co-leads the annual BAP Old Age Course and has developed e-materials for both BAP and IPA.

He led the North East DeNDRoN Clinical Research Network from 2007-2012 and was appointed National Specialty Lead for Dementias in 2015.

E: john.obrien@medschl.cam.ac.uk

Camille Carol, National Speciality Lead - Neurodegeneration

Dr Camille Carroll

Dr Camille Carroll is the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Neurodegeneration.

Dr Carroll is an academic consultant neurologist at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

She undertook preclinical medical training, with an intercalated PhD, at the University of Manchester  and completed her clinical training at the University of Oxford in 1997.

In 2007 Dr Carroll was awarded a Medical Research Council fellowship. This allowed her to develop research interests investigating neuroprotective mechanisms in cell culture models of Parkinson's disease.

Her current focus is on early disease detection and clinical trials of neuroprotective interventions in Parkinson's disease (PD), currently being the chief investigator of a multi-centre clinical trial of simvastatin as a potential neuroprotective therapy in PD. She is also interested in the use of technology (wearable sensors and apps) for early disease detection, personalising therapy and monitoring disease progression.

She has overseen the development of a PD DNA bank (2700 samples) and a regional PD clinical research register. She leads development of the Parkinson’s disease service in Plymouth and is Chair of the Peninsula Parkinson’s Excellence Network.

She was appointed National Specialty Lead for Neurodegenerative Disease in 2017. This subspecialty includes PD, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and Huntington's Disease (HD).

E: camille.carroll@plymouth.ac.uk

Martin Rossor, NIHR National Director for Dementia Research

Professor Martin Rossor

Professor Martin Rossor is the NIHR National Director for Dementia Research, a programme that facilitates the Department of Health’s research response to commitments under the Dementia Challenge and the G8 Dementia Summit.

He is Professor of Clinical Neurology at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He is also an NIHR Senior Investigator.