A group of four researchers sitting around a table discussing data



Find out about what's been happening at the Centre. 

Image of a section of spinal cord under microscope

New research: Could Terazosin help people with motor neuron disease?

Aug 2022:  New research indicates that the drug Terazosin shows promise as a potential new therapy for MND.

screenshot from presentation video showing a presenter and a slide

Changing the Conversation Through Research - video now available

August 2022: The 'Changing the Conversation Through Research' video provides an hour-long run through of the Euan MacDonald Centre's research and vision.

HealthTalk org logo picture

New information & support resource for people with inherited MND

June 2022: A new online resource has now been made available at the website healthtalk.org.

logos of the 6 partners providing the funding

New £4.25 million grant kick starts UK-wide collaborative research effort

June 2022: Euan MacDonald Centre researchers at the University of Edinburgh are delighted to be part of this initiative, which aims to make big progress towards the ambition of making MND treatable within years, not decades.

a female researcher pipetting at a lab bench

Summer Newsletter 2022

June 2022: Our latest newsletter is now available.

ENCALS2022 delegates in the University of Edinburgh's McEwan Hall

European Network to Cure ALS (ENCALS) annual meeting 2022

June 2022: The Euan MacDonald Centre was delighted to host over 600 MND researchers from across Europe at the ENCALS2022 conference.

picture of male participant talking to MND-SMART trial research nurse

MND-SMART trial update

April 2022: An independent review committe has completed the stage 1 analysis of memantine and trazodone and concluded that both drugs should continue in the MND-SMART trial.

microscope images of cells

Hi-tech microscopy study gives clues about MND mechanisms

March 2022: Euan MacDonald Centre researchers have published findings indicating that a specialised connection between cells - the tripartite synapse - may play a key role in MND.

stylised illustration of a human head with cogs representing the brain

International evaluation of current practices in MND cognitive assessment

February 2022: An international analysis of cognitive assessment in MND suggests that it has a positive impact on people with MND, their caregivers and healthcare professionals' practice.

Picture of Zsofia Laszlo

Lady Edith Wolfson Junior Non-Clinical Fellowship Award winner

Jan 2022: MND Association Fellowship award for Dundee based early-career researcher.

Picture of person in a laboratory with pipette

Winter Newsletter 2021

December 2021: Our latest newsletter is now available.

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Thank you to our 2021 fundraisers!

Dec 2021: At the end of each year, we acknowledge and celebrate our fantastic fundraisers who have raised funds to further vital MND research.

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MND-SMART clinical trial update: the latest facts and figures

Dec 2021: Our clinical trial of drug treatments in MND has now recruited over 250 people and there are 15 sites recruiting participants across Scotland and England.

Inforgraphic showing suggestions for future trials in MND

New research: what should MND clinical trials look like?

Nov 2021: Our systematic review of over ten years of clinical trials in MND has informed what trials should look like in the future to maximise the chances of success.

NMJ Research Conference banner

Neuromuscular Junction Research Conference Report

Nov 2021: Our students hosted a virtual conference last month, bringing together early-career scientists around the world who work on the neuromuscular junction.

MND24 challenge logo and people cycling

The MND24 Fundraising Challenge

 24 hours dedicated to motor neuron disease research

Logo of the MND diary project

The MND diary project

Nov 2021: The MND diary project is a 3 year research project investigating coping and resilience among people living with MND.

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Ballater Charitable Chiels to donate £5,000 to the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research

Sept 2021: Ballater Golf Club, with its breathtaking scenery and challenging golf course, once again hosted the Ballater Charitable Chiels Texas Scramble.

screenshot from Anna Sanchez Avila's three-minute thesis recording showing her explaining her work

Three Minute Thesis success for Centre PhD student Anna Sanchez Avila

August 2021: Congratulations to our PhD student Anna Sanchez Avila, who won the University of Dundee 'Three Minute Thesis' competition, and progressed to the semi-finals of the UK-wide competition.

Poster for Poetry and Hope for MND featuring a woman standing at a podium reading a poem

Poetry and Hope for MND

August 2021: Our online Edinburgh Fringe event, Poetry and Hope for MND, premiered on YouTube on Sunday.

Nithya Nair and Tanya Van Der Westhuizen

2021 Hampton Award Winners Announced

July 2021: Two researchers were recently recognised for their commitment to go above and beyond in their MND research.


Presentations at the ENCALS scientific meeting

May 2021: Some of our early-career researchers are presenting their work at the European Network to Cure ALS scientific conference, which kicks off online today.

An organoid - a sphere of red nerve wires being wrapped around in specialised blue myelin insulation

Mini 3-D brain models could speed up search for new treatments for diseases

May 2021: New research funded by the Euan MacDonald Centre hopes to move forward the development of new treatments.

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SpeakUnique highlighted on World Creativity and Innovation Day

April 2021: Film highlights how our research led to the launch of the spinout company SpeakUnique.

two microscope images, one showing terminal Schwann cells from a mouse, the other showing the same cells from a human

New research: insights into nerve-muscle connections

April 2021: Our latest research shows that there are fundamental differences between mice and humans in cells found at the junction of nerves and muscles. This new knowledge is particularly important for the design and interpretation of future research studies.

pen and paper on a table

Wanted: Budding poets

March 2021: If you're living with MND and have a known or hidden talent for poetry, we'd like to hear from you. 

Dr Arpan Mehta in the lab

MND study provides exciting new focus for potential drug treatments

January 2021: Motor neuron disease treatments that boost energy in nerve cells could be developed thanks to new research.

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Winter newsletter 2020

December 2020: Our latest newsletter is now available

EMC logo and wording our research in 2020

2020 research round-up film

December 2020: Watch our short film featuring some of our MND research highlights from 2020! 

Image of desert road with part of Sandy on a bike in foreground

MND awareness raising in the desert

December 2020: Sandy Stirling has set himself a red-hot cycling challenge in memory of his father who died of MND.

three runners in blue Centre T-shirts

Our 2020 fundraising round-up

December 2020: We are extremely grateful to everyone who fundraised for us this year.

MNDA symposium blue and orange logo

Friday 11th December - Centre Researcher ALS Symposium Presentations

December 2020: Day 3 - Details of the research being presented by Euan MacDonald Centre researchers today at the MNDA International Symposium on ALS/MND. 

MNDA symposium blue and orange logo

Thursday 10th December - Centre Researcher ALS Symposium Presentations

December 2020: Day2 - Details of the research being presented by Euan MacDonald Centre researchers today at the MNDA International Symposium on ALS/MND. 

MNDA symposium blue and orange logo

Wednesday 9th December - Centre Researcher ALS Symposium Presentations

December 2020: Details of the research being presented by Euan MacDonald Centre researchers today at the MNDA International Symposium on ALS/MND. 

image of MND Symposium logo

Centre researchers join international symposium on ALS/MND

December 2020: Over 1000 researchers will join together online from Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 December for the MNDA event.

Gordon Aikman and Donald MacDonald walking through a lab talking

Applications open for Gordon Aikman MND funding award

November 2020: The 2021 deadline is Friday 8th January for this annual award in memory of the MND campaigner.

Head and shoulders image of Richard Ribchester

MND symposium marks the retirement of Centre founding Professor

November 2020: Colleagues share MND research findings and pay tribute to Professor Richard Ribchester.

Portrait photos of the four new investigators

Welcome to new Principal Investigators

November 2020: We would like to welcome four new Principal Investigators to the Euan MacDonald Centre: Dr Leeanne McGurk from Dundee, and Dr Chris Sibley, Dr Jenna Gregory and Dr Bhuvaneish T Selvaraj from Edinburgh.

Dr Maria Stavrou

Max Perutz Science Writing Award winner

October 2020: Many congratulations to PhD student Maria Stavrou, who has received a commendation in the 2020 MRC Max Perutz Science Writing competition.

Two young male footballers wearing the black strip with the white Euan MacDonald Centre logo on the front

Youth football team honours legacy of MND research champion

October 2020: A youth football side has teamed up with the Euan MacDonald Centre to raise awareness of MND

hand pressing a stethoscope to a white brain model

Centre researchers find cognition and mental health historically neglected in MND clinical trials

September 2020: The findings of a review published this week encourage future clinical trials to evaluate the impact of drugs on psychiatric health and cognition.

Orange background with white map of the world with pins in and SpeakUnique large S logo on

SpeakUnique 3 months on

September 2020: Our spin-out company has had enquiries from across the world since launch.

Wording on purple background 'Scottish Charity Awards Finalists Charity Champion'

Euan MacDonald named as finalist in Scottish Charity Awards

August 2020: Our founder Euan has been shortlisted for the award of Charity Champion.

diagram showing the effect of CSF on cells

New research: 'Toxic effect' of cerebrospinal fluid in MND

August 2020: A review of scientific literature has revealed that cerebrospinal fluid obtained from people with ALS/MND is damaging to cells.

picture of Alan and his wife Beverley

MND-SMART - the participant's perspective

July 2020: Alan Gray, one of the first people to take part in MND-SMART, tells us about his experience of participating in the landmark clinical trial.

Microscopic image of a virus

MND-SMART clinical trial update

July 2020: We are pleased to announce that we are preparing to restart recruitment to the MND-SMART clinical trial from our Edinburgh trial clinic.

woman typing on a laptop

Study proves reliability of videoconferencing for MND appointments

June 2020: Centre researchers have found that appointments via videoconference are as effective as face-to-face appointments, and that people with MND are keen to use videoconference for future consultations.

screenshot of start of newsletter

Summer Newsletter 2020

June 2020: Our latest newsletter is now available.

Image of Rachel Dakin and Jill Williamson

Clinical trial management team during lockdown

June 2020: MND-SMART Trial Manager, Rachel Dakin, and Trial Management Administrator, Jill Williamson, give us a brief update on what they've been busy with during lockdown. 

lady sat at a computer with a headset

SpeakUnique goes live to help people around the world.

June 2020: Today we’re delighted to announce the launch of our first spin-out company - SpeakUnique. 

blister pack of tablets

Riluzole research study published

May 2020: The study reviewed riluzole prescribing, uptake and treatment discontinuation in Scotland. 

Microscopic image of coronavirus

MND-SMART Trial recruitment - COVID-19 update

May 2020: As the UK government starts to ease lockdown measures we wanted to provide an update on the MND-SMART clinical trial.

Image of Jade Howard

Research continues on inherited forms of MND

April 2020: Centre researcher Jade Howard tells us about her research into family experiences of inherited forms of MND and how COVID-19 has been affecting her work. 

Illustration of a human head with cogs inside

Results published of audit of MND cognitive assessments.

April 2020: The findings of a study have been published this week auditing cognitive assessments in people with MND in Scotland. 

Microscopic image of a virus

MND clinical trial recruitment paused due to COVID-19

March 2020: In response to the rapidly evolving circumstances surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) we have, in accordance with guidance from our research sponsors (University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian), taken the difficult decision to pause recruitment to MND-SMART.

First participant Alan Gray with his wife and Clinic staff

First MND-SMART trial centre opens

March 2020: MND-SMART, the pioneering new MND clinical trial from the Euan MacDonald Centre has opened its first clinical trial centre in Edinburgh.

MND-SMART website homepage

MND-SMART: landmark MND trial launches

January 2020: The Euan MacDonald Centre-led innovative clinical trial MND-SMART is now seeking people with MND from across the UK to test potential new treatments.

Winter newsletter 2019

Dec 2019: Our latest newsletter is now available.

Glial cells under a microscope

Stem cell technology offers new insight into MND

Dec 2019: Euan MacDonald Centre researchers have published findings showing that a genetic change associated with MND makes glial cells, which normally support neurons, become damaging to them instead.

Four researchers at the MND Association International Symposium

Experiences of the 2019 International Symposium

Dec 2019: Several Euan MacDonald Centre researchers recently attended the 30th MND Association International Symposium in Perth, Australia, to find out about the very latest in MND research and care advances.

cells viewed under a microscope, showing stained clumps of TDP-43 protein

Cognitive change in MND: what causes it, and why measure it?

Dec 2019: New research from Euan MacDonald Centre Investigators has revealed a new understanding of the causes of cognitive change in MND, and why it's important to measure it.

Eleri C from Edinburgh University Students Association with their fundraising big cheque

Our 2019 Fundraising Round-up

Dec 2019: We are extremely grateful to everyone who fundraised for us this year. Together, our fantastic fundraisers raised over £30,000 in aid of motor neurone disease research.

A doctor assisting a patient who is entering data into a tablet computer.

30 years of the Scottish National MND Register

Dec 2019: The Scottish National MND Register, which has become an invaluable resource for research and to monitor care across the country, was founded in 1989, the first national MND register in the world.

5 researchers standing smiling behind a table containing research props

September research open evening success

Sept 2019: Visitors joined Centre researchers to learn more about MND projects underway

Euan MacDonald Centre PhD students at the Aberdeen Cafe Med event in September 2019

Aberdeen Cafe Med event a great success

Sept 2019: At a highly successful recent public event in Aberdeen, Euan MacDonald Centre members discussed "Motor Neurone Diseases: what's next?"

J.K. Rowling at the ground-breaking ceremony for the Anne Rowling Clinic

Funding boost for neurological conditions research at Anne Rowling Clinic

Sept 2019: J.K. Rowling has donated £15.3m to the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh.

image of Maria Stavrou and an image of astrocytes

Prestigious award for EMC researcher

Aug 2019: Congratulations to Dr Maria Stavrou who has been awarded a Medical Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship.

Image of research papers

New review of MND mitochondria research published

Aug 2019: First review of MND laboratory research on interventions targeting mitochondria suggests positive effect on survival.

Golfers in Euan MacDonald Centre T-shirts

Golfers have a ball raising funds MND research

July 2019: The recent golf tournament 'The Ballater Charitable Chiels Charity Texas Scramble' was a great success.

Rachel Kline

A day in the life of Euan MacDonald Centre PhD student Rachel Kline

Jun 2019: Our PhD student Rachel Kline describes a typical day in the lab, with the highs and lows of researching MND in fruit flies.

Ryan and Jordan McKenna

£55,000 fundraised in memory of Robert

Jun 2019: Friends and family of Robert Ferguson Paulley have generously fundraised for the Euan MacDonald Centre to find new treatments and a cure for MND. 

Dr Chris Henstridge holding a model brain

Welcome to new Principal Investigator Dr Chris Henstridge

Jun 2019: Congratulations to Dr Chris Henstridge, who has taken up a Lectureship position at the University of Dundee and become a Principal Investigator of the Euan MacDonald Centre.

Euan MacDonald Centre members watching a presentation in a lecture theatre

Our 10th Centre Postgraduate Afternoon

Jun 2019: Last week we held our annual Euan MacDonald Centre Postgraduate Afternoon, when our doctors and scientists get together to discuss the work of our early-career researchers. We also presented the Hampton Awards, for people who go 'above and beyond'.

Jenna Gregory giving a talk at the ENCALS 2019 conference

Experiences of the ENCALS 2019 MND conference

Jun 2019: The Euan MacDonald Centre recently funded three researchers from Edinburgh to attend the 'European Network to Cure ALS' (ENCALS) meeting. This annual conference attracts MND researchers from across Europe and beyond, and is an excellent opportunity to network with other researchers and showcase our work.

Arpan speaking at the ABN

Centre member wins British neurology prize

May 2019: We’re delighted that Dr Arpan Mehta, has won the Charles Symonds Prize for best poster presentation at the Association of British Neurologists 2019 Annual Meeting.

Runners arms around each other smiling for camera wearing blue EMC T-shirts

Edinburgh Marathon Festival Fundraisers

May 2019: Almost 30 people took part in this weekend's running festival to raise awareness and funds for the Euan MacDonald Centre.

diagram representing coloured molecules in various shapes

New research: a map of molecular brain changes during ageing

May 2019: Our researchers have generated a 'map' of how protein molecules change in the brain during normal ageing, which can be used as a benchmark to investigate neurodegeneration.

3 men stood in front of Arbikie branded boxes

Arbikie distillery announces ongoing support for MND

April 2019: £1 per bottle for all sales of Arbikie Distillery's AK’s Gin will go to support MND research and support.

EUSA President Holding a cheque

University students raise almost £3000 for MND research

Apr 2019: Eleri Connick, President of Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA), presented a cheque to the Centre from their fundraising for MND research.

Edinburgh Science festival image on a conference stage and speakers sat in front

Edinburgh Science Festival MND Event

Apr 2019: We were delighted to be part of the Edinburgh Science Festival at an event hosted by MND Scotland. 

two people talking in front of a stand at the open evening

Research open evening success

Apr 2019: Our recent Open Evening on the 10th April was a great success with around 60 people joining us on the night. 

Abdomen with gastrostomy tube being adjusted

New research: Gastrostomy has become safer for people with MND

Apr 2019: Analysis of the data from the CARE-MND platform has shown that gastrostomy is safer for people with MND than it was 30 years ago.

people on a street

New MND incidence and prevalence study published

Mar 2019: The study used data from the CARE-MND platform to investigate how common MND is in Scotland. 

Doddie Weir with three MND Researchers in blue T-shirts

My Name'5 Doddie Foundation donates to MND Research

Mar 2019: Euan MacDonald Centre researcher Professor Tom Gillingwater is among those whose work will receive a donation from the charity.

researchers in a conference hall watching a presentation

Perspectives on the International MND Symposium

Feb 2019: We asked our researchers to reflect on what they gained by attending the International Symposium on MND.

Liz Elliott

New MND funding awarded to Clinical Fellow

Feb 2019: Dr Liz Elliott has been awarded new funding to study genetic patterns in MND.  

Fantastic Fundraisers

Dec 2018: We are extremely grateful to all the fantastic fundraisers who supported the Euan MacDonald Centre in 2018 and raised the amazing total of £130,000!

PhD student publication success

Dec 2018: Many congratulations to our Centre-funded students Hannah Shorrock and Chris Crockford, who can now add 'Dr' to their name!

A researcher holding a tank of zebrafish up towards the camera

A step towards understanding spinal cord repair

Dec 2018: Our researchers have identified that immune system cells are important in spinal cord repair in zebrafish.

A sensory neuron viewed under a microscope

New research insights in spinal muscular atrophy

Oct 2018: Recent research by a team of Euan MacDonald Centre investigators provides new insights into spinal muscular atrophy, the childhood-onset motor neurone disease.

Doddie Weir

Rugby star pledges new funds for drug screening research

Oct 2018: The My Name'5 Doddie Foundation has pledged £250K to the Euan MacDonald Centre for a drug screening programme.

Professor Sharon Abrahams looking at a screen showing brain scan images

MND affects thinking in up to 80 per cent of patients

Sep 2018: Our latest research suggests that four out of five people with MND are likely to experience changes in their brain function, as well as impaired movement.

Lipid droplets (in green) and the ALS8-associated protein DVAP (in red) in the fat body (adipose tissue) of the fruit-fly.

As a matter of fat: Potential links between lipid droplets and MND

Jul 2018: Centre researcher Dr Giuseppa Pennetta has co-authored an essay presenting evidence that droplets of fat might have a beneficial effect in cells affected by MND.

Five researchers wearing lab coats

Summer e-newsletter published

June 2018: Our Summer 2018 e-newsletter is now available.  

Stornaway harbour

Speak:Unique on the road: a Scottish island-hopping adventure!

June 2018: The Speak:Unique team has been on the road, recording voices in the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.

screenshot of the home page of the Euan MacDonald Centre website

Welcome to our new website!

June 2018: We’re excited to launch our new website.

4 researchers who won the Hampton award stood smiling at camera

Postgraduate Afternoon 2018

May 2018: Seventy MND researchers from across Scotland gathered to discuss the latest science and research ideas.

two researchers in a darkened room looking at a large projection of a brain

Funding for research posts to search for MND treatments

Apr 2018: We announce funding for two new postdoctoral laboratory scientists who will work on screening for new drug leads for MND.

researchers at a display stand chatting about their work with the public

Research Open Evening: 12th April

Mar 2017:Meet researchers at our drop-in open evening hosted by the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic.

a researcher looking at cells on a screen

Synapse loss may underlie brain changes in MND 

Dec 2017: New research findings give insight into the pathways that underlie changes in thinking and behaviour in MND.

cells viewed under a microscope

Stem cell research reveals differences in cells from people with MND

Feb 2018: Euan MacDonald Centre researchers have published exciting new findings based on their research on stem cells.

office items on a desk

Winter 2017 e-newsletter now available

Dec 2017: The latest edition of our e-newsletter is now available.

A group of fundraisers who have just completed the Gung Ho! obstacle course

Thank you to our wonderful fundraisers of 2017!

Dec 2017: Sincere thanks to our wonderful fundraisers, who raised a huge amount for us in 2017.

Donald MacDonald CBE and Prof Sir John Savill wearing graduation robes

Donald MacDonald CBE awarded honorary degree

Dec 2017: Our Centre's co-founder Donald MacDonald was awarded Doctor honoris causa by the University of Edinburgh.

Hannah Shorrock in the lab holding a copy of her PhD thesis

Congratulations Hannah Shorrock – our newest PhD

Dec 2017: Congratulations to Dr Hannah Shorrock, a Euan MacDonald-Centre funded postgraduate student, who has been awarded her PhD.

VIPs at Just a Sports Quiz 2017

Two amazing 2017 fundraising events with our founders & rugby friends

Dec 2017: A huge thank you to everyone who attended and/or donated to Just a Sports Quiz 2017 and the Arbikie Highland Estate Field of Dreams.

Sharon Abrahams delivering a masterclass to a room full of health professionals.

ECAS on the road: training MND healthcare professionals

Dec 2017: Professor Sharon Abrahams and Faith Hodgins are delivering training on the ‘Edinburgh Cognitive and Behavioural ALS Screen’ (ECAS) .

a researcher looking at cells on a screen

New insights into how motor neurons live and die in MND

Dec 2017: Euan MacDonald Centre scientists have published new studies that provide insights into the molecules and chemical pathways involved in neuron degeneration.