The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (ION) in Queen Square was established in 1950, merged with UCL in 1997, and is a key component of the Faculty of Brain Sciences (FBS), School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS), at UCL. The Institute has eight academic research Departments (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/research/research-departments ), which encompass clinical and basic research within each theme. In parallel, there are currently six Divisions representing clinical professional affiliations.
The mission is to translate neuroscience discovery research into treatments for patients with neurological diseases.
In addition, a number of important research centres are based at the ION, affiliated with one of our academic research departments: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/research/research-centres
The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology has a significant postgraduate teaching and training portfolio, with nearly 500 graduate students at Queen Square. The Institute employs just over 710 staff, and hosts just under 300 honorary & visiting staff, spread over a complex and large estate comprising of over 15 buildings. Our annual turnover is £80million.
The Institute is closely associated in its work with the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (NHNN), University College London Hospitals' NHS Foundation Trust, and in combination they form a national and international centre at Queen Square for teaching, training and research in neurology and allied clinical and basic neurosciences. The Institute also has active collaborative research programmes with other centres of excellence and works in close partnership with them: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/about/related
A large proportion of the Institute's funding is obtained from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The most recent research assessment exercise, REF2014, showed that the IoN, as part of the FBS, is the first rated UK institution for neuroscience research output.
The Institute currently holds 578 active research projects, totalling £262m, for research from the principal medical charities concerned with neurological diseases, and from government agencies such as the Medical Research Council. Generous support for research is also provided through grant awards from the Brain Research Trust and we also receive significant philanthropic support.
UCL Neuroscience is currently rated second in the world by ISI Essential Science Indicators, and four of the top twelve most highly cited authors working worldwide in neuroscience and behaviour are based at the ION. In the calendar year 2017, Institute staff published1062 papers; 33 were published in the top 50 of all scientific journals (ranked by ISI impact factors), including Nature, Science, Lancet, BMJ and New England Journal of Medicine. RAND report shows that UCL has the highest share of highly cited publications in Neurology in England: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1363.html
There are 80 Professors including 10 Fellows of the Royal Society, 25 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences and one Nobel Prize winner at Queen Square.
The headquarters of the new UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI), led by Professor Bart De Strooper are based at UCL, embedded within the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (ION), as an autonomous academic research department.. The UK DRI is a joint £250 million investment from the Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. The headquarters of the DRI is at University College London, with additional research centres at the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Edinburgh University, Imperial College London and King’s College London. You can read more about the DRI at www.ukdri.ac.uk
The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology has a significant postgraduate teaching and training portfolio, with over 500 graduate students (over 250 PhD students) at Queen Square, and taught MSc/MRes courses in: Advanced Neuroimaging; Brain and Mind Sciences (an innovative two year, two centre programme); Clinical Neuroscience; Clinical Neurology; Neuromuscular Disease; Stroke Medicine, Dementia and Translational Neurology. A new distance-learning Diploma in Clinical Neurology was launched in Autumn 2011. Excellent graduate students of the highest quality are recruited to both ION and UCL-wide PhD programmes, including the LWENC 4-year PhD p[rogramme and the Wellcome 4-year PhD in Neuroscience, which are supported through Research Council, charity and industry funded studentships. Institute staff contribute to undergraduate teaching of Clinical Neurology for the UCL Medical School, host an Elective programme for final year medical students and participate in the organisation of several CPD courses: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/education
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
The Institute prides itself for operating in an all-inclusive environment. Teamwork is highly valued, individual strengths are recognised and celebrated, and there is a commitment to advancing the careers of everyone, regardless of gender or role. We aim to provide a family friendly environment where both women and men feel able to take the time they need for family. The Athena SWAN Charter recognises commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in academia. ION is delighted to have received an Athena Swan Silver Award in October 2015. Mentoring is a crucial part of supporting career progression. While UCL has an online mentoring scheme called u-mentor, we have added a specific mentoring scheme for female academics at the ION. Currently we have 27 mentors who have been trained by an external mentoring expert.
At the Institute we uphold the UCL-wide “Dignity At Work” policy, which, together with support available, protects staff and students from unacceptable behaviour. As an Institute we have pledged to Zero Tolerance: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/working-institute/dignity-work and actively support Wellbeing@UCL : the five year wellbeing strategy for the whole UCL community, supported by our Wellbeing Champions.
The Institute is committed to operating within an environmentally sustainable environment, through the implementation of the UCL Sustainability policy at Departmental level. For more information, please visit our webpage at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/green-awareness/
For more information on our initiatives: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/working-institute
The Research Department
The mission of the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy is to transform the lives of people living with epilepsy for the better by identifying, understanding and correcting or preventing the underlying mechanisms leading to the epilepsies and associated comorbidities in each individual person. Our vision is to build upon the excellence and breadth of our research, seamlessly integrating basic and clinical science. The main Departmental research themes are basic research in neurophysiology, imaging, neurogenetics, neuropharmacology and neuropathology, translational research using animal models of epilepsy, human tissue and in-vivo data from cohorts of patients with specific epilepsy syndromes and clinical research centered on epidemiology, health service, comorbidities, genetics, neuroimaging, neurophysiology, neuropsychiatry, neuropsychology, neuropathology, epilepsy surgery and clinical trials.