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MRC Prion Unit
From fundamental research to prevention and cure
NPC 2018

Clinic staff

The clinic staff comprise of consultant neurologists Professor John Collinge, Simon Mead and Peter Rudge and mobile teams of junior doctors and clinic nurse specialists.


John Collinge photo

Prof. John Collinge

Professor Collinge graduated in Medicine in 1984 from Bristol University and trained in clinical neurology at St. Mary's Hospital and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. His research interests are in neurodegenerative diseases - in particular transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases.

His current position is Professor of Neurology and Head of the Department of Neurodegenerative Disease at the Institute of Neurology, University College London. He is also Director of the UK Medical Research Council's Prion Unit, a multidisciplinary research unit with over 80 staff focusing on human prion disease, and leads the UK National Prion Clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

He is a founder fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, was awarded a CBE by HM the Queen in 2004 for services to medical research and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2005. In 2008, he was appointed an inaugural Senior Fellow of the Faculty of the National Institute for Health Research.

Dr Diana Caine

Diana trained in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Melbourne, and completed her PhD at the University of Sydney. She is a Lead Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery and has worked for over twenty years in major teaching hospitals specialising in the differential diagnosis of dementia in Cambridge, Manchester and Sydney, before coming to London. She has been Clinical Neuropsychologist for the Prion Clinic for 3 years.

Philip Parker

Philip Parker

Our Lead Nurse, Phil joined the team in October 2018.  He trained as a nurse at King’s College London , and went on to study Dementia – Advanced Practice as a Post-Graduate at St George’s University of London.  Phil worked at Barnes Hospital as a Dementia Inreach Nurse, then as a Memory Nurse at the Richmond Memory Service.  He then became a Community Dementia Nurse under the Royal Marsden NHS Trust, and latterly, as a Dementia Clinical Nurse Lead, he founded The Dementia and End of Life Care team at Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Kirsty McNiven

Kirsty joined the National Prion Clinic in June 2014 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  She completed her nursing training at the Robert Gordon University; Aberdeen in 2010 then went on to work in Neurosciences at King’s College Hospital for the last three years.  Kirsty aims to further her studies in genetic counselling.

Tze How Mok

Tze How Mok

Mok completed undergraduate medicine at University College Dublin and Penang Medical College in 2006. He trained in clinical neurology in Cork, Dublin and the Royal Free London, prior to taking up his current position as a clinical research fellow in August 2014.

Akin Nihat

Akin Nihat


Akin studied medicine at Imperial College London, where he also obtained an intercalated BSc in Neuroscience. He completed his core medical training in London, and joined the National Prion Clinic in August 2015 as a clinical research fellow.

Simon Mead

Prof. Simon Mead

After medical training at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and a PhD in the genetics of prion diseases at Imperial College London, Simon Mead is now a consultant neurologist and Clinical Lead of the UK National Prion Clinic based at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Also working at the UK Medical Research Council’s Prion Unit, his research interests include clinical trial studies enrolling CJD or prion disease patients, the discovery of genetic factors that cause or influence prion disease and the development of treatments for prion disease based on antibodies. 

Veronica O'Donnel

Veronica O’Donnell

Veronica completed her training at the University of Newcastle with a BSc in Health Education. She has worked mainly in renal, renal oncology, palliative care and neurology.  Veronica joined the National Prion clinic in May 2010 as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, where she is currently undertaking courses in Mentorship and genetic counselling.

Peter Rudge photo

Dr. Peter Rudge

Peter Rudge read medicine initially at the Royal Veterinary College, London and then at St Bartholomew's Medical College. After completing his general medical training at Bart's and The Royal Post Graduate Medical School, Hammersmith he trained in neuroloy at the National Hospital, Queen Square and was appointed to the staff in 1974, jointly with Northwick Park Hospital. He has also held honorary appointments at the Royal Marsden, St Mary's and St Thomas' Hospitals in London and Kingston Public Hospital in Jamaica. For the past 3 years he has held an appointment in the National Prion Clinic as a clinical neurologist helping to review referrals to that clinic and recruitment to the National Cohort.

He has published over 180 peer reviewed papers principally on neuro-otology, multiple sclerosis and most recently prion diseases.

Selam Tesfamichael

Selam Tesfamichael

Selam joined the National Prion Clinic in November 2012 as a clinical nurse specialist. She completed her nursing studies at London South Bank University then went on to specialise in neurosurgery/neurology at Kings College London. Selam has worked at the Royal Free Hospital neurosurgical department for six years and at The National Neurosurgery and Neurology hospital for two years.