About this event

  • Date and time Thu 5 Mar 2020 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Clinical Neurosciences

This event will examine new genetic therapies for neurodegeneration and explore other areas of research in clinical neuroscience in honour of Sir Roger Bannister. 

To the world, Sir Roger Bannister was known as the first man to run a 4-minute mile. But among neurologists, he was preeminent for his pioneering work on autonomic medicine at St Mary’s, the National Hospital, and then at Oxford. The RSM is greatly honoured that his widow and family have given us permission to present the Sir Roger Bannister Lecture in his honour, and delighted that Professor Sarah Tabrizi has agreed to present her work on new genetic therapies for neurodegeneration.

There has been significant progress in the treatment of genetic neurological disorders. Recent research has revealed the potential for the treatment of these conditions including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and familial amyloidosis. The recent TRIALS by Professor Tabrizi show promise in the treatment of devastating genetic disorders such as Huntington's disease.

Topics include:

  • Potential treatment avenues for genetic neurological disorders
  • Recent work in neurosciences


Key speakers

Sarah Tabrizi

Professor Sarah Tabrizi

Director of the UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre, and Joint Head of Department Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.

Speaker's biography

Sarah Tabrizi graduated in biochemistry, then medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1992. She has worked on research into neurodegenerative diseases since her PhD as an MRC clinical training fellow at UCL. After clinical training, she obtained a DH National Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2002 to work on protein misfolding at UCL. She was promoted to Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist in 2003, and to Full Professor in 2009. Sarah is Director of the UCL Huntington’s Disease Centre, which she co-founded with Professor Gill Bates in 2016, and Joint Head of Department Neurodegenerative Disease at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.


In addition to basic bench science, which focuses on basic cellular mechanisms of neurodegeneration focusing on Huntington’s disease (HD), she also leads a large translational research programme in HD that is working towards finding effective disease-modifying treatments. She was the PI of TRACK-HD and Track-On HD, both major international research initiatives aimed at understanding the neurobiology of the neurodegenerative changes in premanifest and early-stage HD gene carriers. She was a global clinical PI on the world’s first gene silencing study for HD using anti-sense oligonucleotide therapy which successfully completed in December 2017. The full set of results for this trial were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2019, this was the first study to show antisense mediated knockdown of a toxic protein in the CNS of adults. Following the success of the trial, and in collaboration with F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, an Open-Label Extension study and pivotal phase 3 trial are now underway. Sarah has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications to date, has an H-index of 78, and her research work has been the subject of articles in NEJM, The Economist, Scientific American, and The Lancet.


She serves on several panels including the UK HD association, the European HD Network and NINDS/NIH. She co-founded, with Sir Michael Rawlins, the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for HD in 2010. In 2014, she was elected a Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. In 2017 she received the seventh Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science awarded by the Hereditary Disease Foundation and was appointed as a Principal Investigator at the UK Dementia Research Institute Hub. In 2018 she received the Cotzias Award from the Spanish Society of Neurology.


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee

Poster viewing 

Welcome and introduction

Dr Hadi Manji, President, Clinical Neurosciences Section, Royal Society of Medicine

Session one: Gordon Holmes prize

Presentation one
Presentation two
Presentation three
Presentation four
Presentation five
Ellison Cliffe travelling fellowship: The cortical origins of ALS

Dr Smriti Agarwal, ST7 trainee in Neurology, Addenbrooke’s Hospital

Session two: The Sir Roger Bannister lecture

New genetic therapies for neurodegeneration

Professor Sarah Tabrizi, Director, University College London Huntington’s Disease Centre and Principal Investigator, UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London Institute of Neurology

Announcement of prize winners
Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

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  • Price Optional donation to support the RSM