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Prof Michael Hanna
Box 102
National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, UCL
Queen Square
Prof Michael Hanna profile picture
  • Professor of Clinical Neurology
  • Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Professor Michael G Hanna is a Consultant Neurologist with a longstanding clinical and research interest in muscle diseases and is head of the Queen Square muscle disease clinical service. Professor Hanna is also Director of the UCL Institute of Neurology-Newcastle University MRC Centre for translational research in neuromuscular diseases. The central mission of the MRC Centre is to work closely with clinical and scientific colleagues across UCL and Newcastle to add value to basic science programmes and catalyse the pipeline from discovery to treatment. The centre has established new core activities to overcome gaps in translation, including a neuromuscular clinical trials centre, an animal model unit, a UK muscle cell-line biobank, an outcome measure activity which includes neuromuscular MRI and a translational research PhD programme.

Michael is a senior member of the North American Muscle Study Group - a consortium of scientific investigators who are committed to running controlled clinical trials for neuromuscular diseases. He is also corresponding member of the American Neurological association, member of the World Muscle Society and is a Guarantor of Brain.Michael qualified inMedical Biochemistry and then in Medicine at the University of Manchester andundertook postgraduate medical and neurological training posts in Newcastle, Oxford and London. He was an MRC training fellow to Professor Anita Harding undertaking his medical doctorate research in the genetics of mitochondrial diseases. He became a consultant at the National Hospital and Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Neurology in 1997 and Professor in Clinical Neurology in 2006.

He has a long-standing research interest in elucidating molecular genetic mechanisms in mitochondrial diseases and muscle/neurological channelopathies and also in the development of improved genetic diagnostics. He leads the UK national diagnostic reference laboratory and advisory service for channelopathies and co-leads a similar service for mitochondrial diseases.He has published over170 peer reviewed original research papers including New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Human Genetics, Lancet Neurology and Lancet, and has held the position of deputy Editor of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry since 2003.
Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary
My group has a long standing clinical and genetic research interest in neurological channelopathies and in mitochondrial neuromuscular diseases. We are also interested in mechanisms of muscle degeneration in acquired muscle disease particularly IBM.

My research has focused on improved understanding of the molecular genetics basis and molecular mechanisms of neurological diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction and by ion channel dysfunction. Many of these diseases particularly affect the neuromuscular system and my clinical specialist interest has focused on developing better services for patients with neuromuscular neurological diseases.

Ion Channel Research Programme

Many important neurological diseases are episodic causing patients to experience attacks of unpredictable severe neurological dysfunction separated by periods of apparent normality. The commonest episodic neurological disorders are epilepsy and migraine but their precise molecular pathophysiology is an important unsolved neuroscience      challenge. In addition, there are many severe disabling disorders of episodic muscle dysfunction such as episodic total muscle periodic paralysis and intermittent and severe disabling muscle myotonic stiffness. 

Mitochondrial Research Programme

I have a particular interest in the link between mitochondrial DNA mutations and human disease. We have defined a large number of human pathological mtDNA mutations and have elucidated their molecular pathogenesis through various expression systems including human primary muscle cell cultures. We have established that approximately 70% of human adult mitochondrial disease is caused by primary mtDNA mutations. More recently we have used whole exome genetic approaches in the remaining 30% of adult case and have recently been successful in identifying new nuclear genes that encode proteins that are targeted to the mitochondria and control respiratory chain assembly and mitochondrial fission.

2019 Elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences   Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom
2019 Elected to Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences   Academy of Medical Sciences, United Kingdom
2013 Chair & Adjunct Professor Faculty of Neurology University of Iowa, United States
2012 Director Queen Square Institute of Neurology UCL, United Kingdom
2011 Honorary Professor of Clinical Neurology   University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
2009 Co-Director, Neurological Diseases Theme UCL Partners UCL , United Kingdom
2009 Chairman   British Myology Society, United Kingdom
2008 – 2020 Director MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, United Kingdom
2007 Honorary Consultant Neurologist Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, United Kingdom
2007 Divisional Clinical Director Queen Square Division UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
2006 Professor in Clinical Neurology Molecular Neuroscience UCL Institute of Neurology, United Kingdom
2000 Lead Muscle Clinician Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, United Kingdom
1998 Consultant Neurologist   National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, United Kingdom
1998 Consultant in Neurogenetics   National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2002   Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Royal College of Physicians
1996   Doctor of Medicine University of Manchester
1991   Member of the Royal College of Physicians Royal College of Physicians
1988   Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery University of Manchester
1986   BSc (Hons) Open University of Manchester
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