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The University of Edinburgh: Clinical Brain Sciences

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department School of Clinical Sciences
Study type Research


Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences

The Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS) combines laboratory and clinical research to study the causes, consequences and treatment of major brain disorders.

The Centre comprises 58 Principal Investigators, including 19 Chairs. 70% of our Principal Investigators are NHS clinicians.

CCBS has approximately 55 postgraduate students across its two programmes: Clinical Brain Sciences and Psychiatry. It is particularly strong in PhD training for clinicians.

The Centre is located at Edinburgh BioQuarter, next to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. However, it also has bases in three other Edinburgh hospital sites.

CCBS subscribes to Edinburgh Medical School’s "One Health" vision. Laboratory scientists, clinical academics and informaticians work alongside one another. This encourages the free-flowing exchange of ideas, an efficient use of clinical data and joint academic/health service delivery.

CCBS is part of Edinburgh Neuroscience, an umbrella organisation that facilitates interaction among researchers working at all levels of neuroscience.

Research excellence

In the Research Excellence Framework (2014), Edinburgh was ranked 3rd out of 82 submissions in Neuroscience and the research environment was given the maximum possible score of 100% and classified as ‘world-leading’.

Research community

We are extremely proud of our internationally renowned research community.

The Centre has attracted £42 million in grant funding over the last three years. Our 400+ members collaborate widely and lead international clinical trials.

Our research generates significant and measurable impact on patient health and wellbeing, NHS policy and public awareness.

The National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) Research and Surveillance Unit is a World Health Organisation Reference Centre for Human Prion Disease.

Two of our Professors are Chairs of the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

Research strengths

Our major research strengths are:

  • cerebrovascular disease including stroke and small vessel diseases

  • neurodegenerative diseases: multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, dementias

  • neuroimaging

  • psychiatry, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression; autism, neurodiversity and learning disability

  • Prion diseases

  • synaptic biology & disease

  • epilepsy

  • neonatal development and the effect of premature birth

  • neuro-oncology / Translational Neurosurgery

  • functional disorders

sleep medicine

Specialist centres

The CCBS also has a strong record of attracting philanthropic donations to establish specialist centres of excellence:

  • Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic

  • Edinburgh Dementia Prevention

  • Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research

  • MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research

  • Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre

  • Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism; Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities

  • Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre for Learning Difficulties

  • Theirworld Edinburgh Birth Cohort

  • Row Fogo Centre for Research into Ageing and the Brain

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Edinburgh. Extraordinary futures await.

The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 22nd in the 2024 QS World University Rankings.

Our position as one of Britain’s leading research universities was reaffirmed by the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF). The University of Edinburgh is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities, ranked 4th in the UK for research power (Times Higher Education, Overall Ranking of Institutions), with 90% of our research activity classified as world leading or internationally excellent in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.

Our …

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