Mr Antonio Belli MD, FRCS, FRCS (SN)

Tony Belli

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Professor of Trauma Neurosurgery

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
IBR West Building
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mr Belli graduated from Tor Vergata University in Rome with a degree in Medicine and Surgery. He completed a doctoral degree (MD) on neurobiochemistry of brain ischaemia and reperfusion at Tor Vergata University and then moved to the UK in 1994.

He trained as a neurosurgeon at King’s College Hospital, Atkinson Morley’s Hospital, The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and Charing Cross Hospital. Between 2001 and 2003 he carried out a research fellowship in neuromonitoring at the Institute of Neurology in London.

He is on the editorial board of several neurology journals and is an advisor to NICE and the Care Quality Commission.

Antonio Belli is Director of the NIHR SRMRC. Find out more about the work of the research centre on the SRMRC website.


  • Fellowship in Surgical Neurology (FRCS SN), 2004
  • Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow (FRCS), 1997
  • MD (Reactive Oxygen Species damage in brain ischaemia and reperfusion) – Department of Neurosciences, University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, 1992
  • Degree of Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (summa cum laude) – University of Rome ‘Tor Vergata’, 1990


Mr Belli is a Professor of Trauma Neurosurgery and Director of the Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMCR) based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. The SRMRC is a leading centre for trauma research and was founded in 2011 with £20M grant from NIHR, MoD, the University of Birmingham and University Hospitals Birmingham. He heads the neurotrauma research theme, which carries out translational research on traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. He is also a practising neurosurgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he leads the Neurotrauma service comprised of a formidable team of doctors, nurses and therapists.


  • Tony has set up and leads the new MSc course in Trauma Sciences at the University of Birmingham. This is the first on-site MSc course in trauma in the UK and one of just a handful available in this field worldwide. In this programme he also leads the Neurotrauma module.
  • Tony also continues to be involved in the regular teaching of medical, BMedSc and Sports and Excercise Science students. He has contributed to teaching at other institutions by invitation; for example, the Nursing Degree at City University, the Neurotrauma Course at Royal College of Surgeons (where I am a regular faculty member) and MSc courses at Queen Mary University London.

Postgraduate supervision

Tony supervises a number of doctoral research students. If you are interested in studying with Tony please contact him on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.


Mr Belli’s research interest is in neurobiochemistry and neuromonitoring of acute brain injury. A particular focus is brain metabolism following mild and severe traumatic brain injury and how this relates to the long-term outcome and the risk of early neurogenerative conditions. Many of his current studies involve cross-disciplinary collaborations with engineering, chemistry, computing science and IT.

Working with cerebral microdialysis, another area of interest is early markers of tissue damage for the prevention of secondary injury after trauma and subarachnoid haemorrhage, patient stratification and drug discovery.

He is the principal or chief investigator of several acute brain injury studies, including international multicentre trials.

Other activities

  • Director of NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (Trauma Research)
  • Theme Lead of the NIHR Healthcare Technology Cooperative on Trauma Management
  • Module Editor for Neurosurgery for eLearning for Health Care (Royal College of Surgeons of England and Department of Health)
  • Member of the Leadership Committee for Trauma and Critical Care of the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies
  • Independent Member of the Expert Panel on Concussion and Head Injury of the Football Association and Rugby Football Union
  • Advisor on concussion to the England Cricket Board, British Basketball and GB Rowing
  • Trustee of Headway (Brain Injury charity) and of the Midlands Neuroscience Training and Research Fund
  • Member of the Trauma Group of the British Society of Neurological Surgeons
  • External Reviewer for the French National Research Agency
  • Ad hoc reviewer for the EPSRC, MRC, NIHR and Wellcome Trust


Recent publications


McMullan, C, Retzer, A, Slade, A, Kyte, D, Jones, L, Belli, T, Calvert, M & Turner, G 2020, 'Care providers’ and patients’ attitudes towards using electronic-patient reported outcomes to support patients with traumatic brain injury (PRiORiTy)', Brain Injury.

Begum, G, Reddy, R, Yakoub, KM, Belli, A, Davies, DJ & Di Pietro, V 2020, 'Differential expression of circulating inflammatory proteins following sport-related traumatic brain injury', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 21, no. 4, 1216.

Rickard, J, Di Pietro, V, Smith, D, Davies, D, Belli, T & Goldberg Oppenheimer, P 2020, 'Rapid optofluidic detection of biomarkers for traumatic brain injury via surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy', Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Davies, DJ, Yakoub, KM, Su, Z, Clancy, M, Forcione, M, Lucas, SJE, Dehghani, H & Belli, A 2020, 'The Valsalva maneuver: an indispensable physiological tool to differentiate intra versus extracranial near-infrared signal', Biomedical Optics Express, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 1712-1724.

Chimen, M, Evryviadou, A, Box, CL, Harrison, MJ, Hazeldine, J, Dib, LH, Kuravi, SJ, Payne, H, Price, JMJ, Kavanagh, D, Iqbal, AJ, Lax, S, Kalia, N, Brill, A, Thomas, SG, Belli, A, Crombie, N, Adams, RA, Evans, S-A, Deckmyn, H, Lord, JM, Harrison, P, Watson, SP, Nash, GB & Rainger, GE 2019, 'Appropriation of GPIbα from platelet-derived extracellular vesicles supports monocyte recruitment in systemic inflammation', Haematologica.

Davies, D, Clancy, M, Dehghani, H, Lucas, S, Forcione, M, Yakoub, K & Belli, A 2019, 'Cerebral oxygenation in traumatic brain injury: can a non-invasive frequency domain near-infrared spectroscopy device detect changes in brain tissue oxygen tension as well as the established invasive monitor?', Journal of Neurotrauma, vol. 36, no. 7, pp. 1175-1183.

Banbury, C, Mason, R, Styles, I, Eisenstein, N, Clancy, M, Belli, A, Logan, A & Goldberg Oppenheimer, P 2019, 'Development of the Self Optimising Kohonen Index Network (SKiNET) for Raman Spectroscopy Based Detection of Anatomical Eye Tissue', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 10812.

Dex-CSDH trial collaborative and BNTRC collaborative 2019, 'Dex-CSDH randomised, placebo-controlled trial of dexamethasone for chronic subdural haematoma: report of the internal pilot phase', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 5885.

Retzer, A, Turner, G, Slade, A, Kyte, D, McMullan, C, Jones, L, Belli, A & Calvert, M 2019, 'Electronic patient reported outcomes to support care of patients with traumatic brain injury: PRiORiTy study qualitative protocol', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 1, e024617.

Yakoub, KM, Lazzarino, G, Amorini, AM, Caruso, G, Scazzone, C, Ciaccio, M, Tavazzi, B, Lazzarino, G, Belli, A & Di Pietro, V 2019, 'Fructose-1,6-Bisphosphate Protects Hippocampal Rat Slices from NMDA Excitotoxicity', International Journal of Molecular Sciences, vol. 20, no. 9, 2239.

Liu, X, Kale, AU, Capewell, N, Talbot, N, Ahmed, S, Keane, PA, Mollan, S, Belli, A, Blanch, RJ, Veenith, T & Denniston, AK 2019, 'Optical coherence tomography (OCT) in unconscious and systemically unwell patients using a mobile OCT device: a pilot study', BMJ open, vol. 9, no. 11, e030882.


NOSTRA Investigators 2020, 'Correction to: Ronopterin (VAS203) in patients with moderate and severe traumatic brain injury (NOSTRA phase III trial): study protocol of a confirmatory, placebocontrolled, randomised, double blind, multi-centre study', Trials, vol. 21, no. 1, 172.

Kolias, AG, Edlmann, E, Thelin, EP, Bulters, D, Holton, P, Suttner, N, Owusu-Agyemang, K, Al-Tamimi, YZ, Gatt, D, Thomson, S, Anderson, IA, Richards, O, Whitfield, P, Gherle, M, Caldwell, K, Davis-Wilkie, C, Tarantino, S, Barton, G, Marcus, HJ, Chari, A, Brennan, P, Belli, A, Bond, S, Turner, C, Whitehead, L, Wilkinson, I & Hutchinson, PJ 2019, 'Correction to: Dexamethasone for adult patients with a symptomatic chronic subdural haematoma (Dex-CSDH) trial: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial', Trials, vol. 20, no. 1, 175.

CENTER-TBI Investigators and Participants 2019, 'Correction to: Variation in neurosurgical management of traumatic brain injury: a survey in 68 centers participating in the CENTER-TBI study (Acta Neurochirurgica, (2019), 161, 3, (435-449), 10.1007/s00701-018-3761-z)', Acta Neurochirurgica, vol. 161, no. 3, pp. 451-455.

Review article

Sharma, R, Shultz, SR, Robinson, MJ, Belli, A, Hibbs, ML, O'Brien, TJ & Semple, BD 2019, 'Infections after a traumatic brain injury: The complex interplay between the immune and neurological systems', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

View all publications in research portal