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Matt Craner is a consultant neurologist working within the Defence Medical Services and holds the rank of Surgeon Commander with the Royal Navy. His interest in MS research and the mechanisms that contribute to neurodegeneration in MS was fostered during his PhD studies at Yale University under the supervision of Professor Stephen Waxman. On returning to the UK, Matt Craner completed his higher specialist training in Neurology and taking up a consultant post at Frimley Park Hospital as well as serving military commitments as the Defence Consultant Advisor in Neurology. He has continued basic science research into mechanisms of neurodegeneration and the identification of neuroprotective therapies in MS, working in close collaboration with Professor Lars Fugger. As part of the success of these studies, Matt Craner has recently taken over as clinical lead of the MS Clinical Trials Unit with the aim of developing translational neuroprotective therapies.

Matthew Craner


Consultant Neurologist

Clinical Neuroscience and Multiple Sclerosis

Research Summary 

One of the key research aims include the identification of molecular mechanisms that contribute to loss of neurons and axons in multiple sclerosis (MS) and targeting these mechanisms with neuroprotective drugs that can be rapidly translated to clinical practice.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the most common cause of progressive neurological disability affecting young people in the western world. Considerable gains have been made over recent years in the understanding of disease mechanisms that contribute to the pathogenesis of MS. An important part of this understanding is that the development of non-remitting clinical deficits or disability is secondary to the loss of neurons and axons. However, whilst significant gains have been made there remains a great need to understand the complex molecular mechanisms at play between the immune and nervous system and how these lead to the permanent loss and damage to key structures in the central nervous system.

The loss of neurons and axons (neurodegeneration) in MS is likely to be secondary to both inflammatory and neuronal processes. We have developed a translational programme in Oxford that examines molecular pathways that may contribute to neurodegeneration in MS and test them within a basic science setting with drugs that are already in clinical practice. This research forms the basis of taking them forward into to early clinical trials in patients with the aim of reducing the disability progression that occurs with MS. These proposed clinical studies aim to assess the efficacy of potential neuroprotective agents utilising sensitive clinical and surrogate outcome marker of neurodegeneration.

Sources of Funding