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Sources of Funding

  • National Institute for Health Research (2021)

Recent Awards

  • Honors, Elective Clerkship in Paediatric Neurology, Harvard Medical School (2017)
  • Elective Bursary, Society of British Neurological Surgeons (2017)

Jonathan Attwood

MA (Oxon) BMBCh

Clinical Neurosciences DPhil Student


Jonathan is a Clinical Neurosciences DPhil Student in NDCN. He is supervised by Associate Professor Gabriele De Luca and Professor Edward de Haan, and mentored by Professor Margaret Esiri.

Jonathan completed his medical training at the University of Oxford in 2017, before pursuing a clerkship in Neurology at Harvard Medical School and an attachment in Neurosurgery at the University of California San Francisco. As a student, Jonathan played cricket for the medical school and hockey for the University of Oxford.

Jonathan has performed research alongside his clinical training since 2017, publishing in the fields of traumatic brain injury, pathology, neurosurgery, and neuropsychology. Jonathan gained an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Neurology in 2021. He also served as Research Lead for the ABN/SBNS Neurology and Neurosurgery Special Interest Group, and has presented his research to the British Neuroscience Association, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, and the Society of British Neurological Surgeons. He now teaches at the University of Oxford as a Medical Tutor for Harris Manchester College, and on the Year 2 'Brain and Behaviour' and Year 5 'Clinical Neurosciences' courses.


During World War II, pioneering neurosurgeon Sir Hugh Cairns transformed St Hugh's College Oxford into the National Military Hospital for Head Injuries. This remarkable institution treated thousands of soldiers returning from Europe with head injuries, while also studying their conditions to gain ground-breaking insights into the nature of concussion, the effect of head injury on intracranial pressure, and the role of head injury rehabilitation.

Many veterans agreed to longitudinal follow-up for decades after their injuries, and a small number donated their brains to scientific research. This unique cohort is a source of incredibly rich neurological, psychological, anatomical, and pathological data, which have been the source of foundational insights published Dr Freda Newcombe's team between 1970 and 2000.

Now, as our understanding of traumatic brain injury, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, dementia, and neurodegeneration has developed, we return to this internationally exceptional cohort and the unique opportunity it provides to answer new questions we face in the fields of traumatic brain injury and neurodegeneration research and rehabilitation.

Recent publications

More publications