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Prof Vincenzo Libri
Director NIHR UCLH Clinical Research Facility and Head Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre
UCL, Institute of Neurology & The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery
23 Queen Square
Prof Vincenzo Libri profile picture
  • Professor of Translational Neurology
  • IoN Central Administration
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

Vincenzo Libri is a Professor of Translational Neurology at UCL-Institute of Neurology (ION) and Honorary Consultant Clinical Pharmacologist at UCLH-National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN). He is Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Facility at UCLH; Director of the Masters in Translational Neuroscience at UCL; Chair of the Health Research Authority-Hampshire B Research Ethics Committee and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (FRCP) and British Pharmacological Society (FBPhS). 

Prof Libri obtained his MD degree and Specialist Training in Clinical Pharmacology in Italy in 1985 and 1989, respectively. Between 1990-1998 he was a Wellcome Trust and MRC Grant Holder at the Department of Pharmacology, The School of Pharmacy, London-UK. He was  Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Rome, Italy, between 1994-1998. From 1998 to 2008 he worked in multiple Pharmaceutical Companies (GlaxoWellcome, Eli Lilly and GlaxoSmithKline), undertaking direct responsibility and leadership for translational medicine and early phase clinical trials across diseases. From 2009 to 2013 he was Head of Clinical Studies at the NIHR Clinical Research Facility, Imperial College London, overseeing the running of the Centre and managing the whole portfolio of clinical studies. In October 2013 he was appointed founding Head of the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Medicine Centre (LWENC) at UCL-ION under a major capital award from the Wolfson Foundation. Under his leadership, the Centre progressively increased its reputation and it is now recognised worldwide as an established Centre of Excellence in neurodegeneration research and a major asset for complex early phase clinical trials. In April 2016, he took up the role of Director of the NIHR UCLH Clinical Research Facility to amalgamate it with the LWENC in a single, integrated CRF at two sites, under a common leadership and teamwork. 

Prof Libri  is a member of several internal and external research committees and boards, including the UCLH/UCL BRC Executive Board; the UCL Institute for Precision Medicine Steering Committee, the CTIMP Sponsorship Committee at GOSH; the Alzheimer's Research UK Global Clinical Trials Advisory Panel, the MHRA-HRA-Dept of Health-NIHR CRF Directors Board for Phase-I clinical trials; the Biogen Neuro-Network Advisory Board for FIH trials in neurological disorders, the NIHR Southampton CRF Early Phase Safety Committee, the Covid-19 North Thames Clinical Research Network, etc. He is external referee/assessor of several funding schemes for research, fellowships and infrastructure awards, including the ARUK Global Clinical Trials Fund for early phase clinical trials in Dementia, the ICM (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, Paris, Fr)- ICRIN (Clinical Research Infrastructures in Neurosciences) Award, the MIUR (Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research)-PRIN (Research Projects of National Interest) Referee Evaluation Panel and others.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Prof Libri has long lasting expertise in clinical pharmacology, experimental neurology, translational medicine and early phase drug development from first time in human (FIH) through to proof of concept. He has mixed academic-industry experience and his main research interests include motor neurone disease, Alzheimer's disease, Friedreich's ataxia, aging and neuropathic pain. He has published several peer reviewed original research papers in international medical journals including the Lancet (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60382-2). Particularly notable are a series of clinical trials exploring for the first time the therapeutic benefit of established and putative new drugs in healthy volunteers and patients, namely: effects of high doses of the histone deacetylase inhibitor nicotinamide in up-regulating frataxin levels in Friedriech's ataxia patients (this study represented one of the first epigenetic therapeutic attempts for a disease other than cancer); efficacy of capsaicin 8% patches for the reduction of treprostinil-induced pain in pulmonary hypertension patients; safety, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects of a novel sirtuin-1 activator in elderly volunteers; characterisation of the TSPO binding status and steroid production in healthy volunteers; characterisation of amyloid imaging tracers (11C-PIB, FDDNP) in Alzheimer's disease pathologies.

Prof Libri is Principal Investigator/Co-investigator of a series of early phase clinical trials in neurodegenerative disease targeting innovative putative new therapies, notably FIH antisense oligonucleotides in motor neurone disease. He is also the Director of the Covid-19 Vaccine programme at UCLH and oversees several Urgent Public Health Covid-19 vaccine and passive immunisation trials, including the landmark Oxford/AstraZeneca COV002 trial leading to Emergency Use Authorisation in the UK and internationally, as well as multiple homologous and heterologous prime and booster vaccination trials. He has published over 100 papers in peer reviewed medical journals including the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine and Science Translational Medicine among others.

Teaching Summary

Prof Libri is the founding Director of the Masters in Translational Neuroscience within the Faculty of Brain Sciences at UCL (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/study/postgraduate-taught-degrees/translational-neuroscience-mres). He has several years of teaching experience ranging from undergraduate to postgraduate medical students, both within Italian Universities (where he holds an honorary appointment as Professor in Clinical Pharmacology) and in the UK. At Imperial College London, he coordinated the MRes in Translational Medicine for BSc and MBBS graduates and provided practical classes and lectures on clinical pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, translational medicine and experimental medicine, clinical trial design and safety endpoints, surrogate markers and emerging technologies applied to drug development. He was an invited lecturer at the University of Oxford to give lectures to PhD students undergoing interdisciplinary drug discovery and biomedicine courses. He was a member of the British Pharmacological Society Diploma Sub-Committee (part of the BPS Education & Training Programme), which manages the development and delivery of the masters-equivalent Diploma in Advanced Pharmacology. He is visiting Professor at the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy, where he gives lectures in clinical pharmacology to undergraduate medical students, postgraduates Masters and PhD students and specialist medical trainees, as well being an external assessor on PhD panels. 

Academic Background
2014   Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Royal College of Physicians
1988   Certificate of Completion of Specialist Training Universita degli Studi di Napoli - Federico II
1985   Doctor of Medicine Universita degli Studi di Napoli - Federico II
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