Dr Hannah Botfield PhD, MRes, BSc

Hannah Botfield

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
Research Fellow

Contact details

Institute of Inflammation and Ageing
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Hannah Botfield is a research fellow based within the Institute of Inflammation and Ageing.

Her research interest is in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics in health and disease. Her work focusses on understanding the pathology behind CSF dysfunction in disorders such as hydrocephalus and haemorrhagic stroke, with an emphasis on the role of inflammation, matrix biology and ageing.


  • PhD in Neuroscience, University of Birmingham, 2014
  • MRes in Tissue engineering, repair and regeneration, University of Birmingham, 2010
  • BSc in Biomedical Science, Cardiff University, 2008


Hannah graduated with a BSc from Cardiff University in 2008 and moved to the University of Birmingham where she completed an MRes (2010) before embarking on a PhD, ‘modelling and preventing the development of chronic communicating hydrocephalus’ with Prof Ann Logan and Dr Ana Maria Gonzalez. During her PhD Hannah collaborated with Prof Pat McAllister, and was awarded a Postgraduate Researcher Overseas Work Experience Scholarship to work in his lab at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, USA) for 3 months.

After graduating her PhD in 2014 Hannah commenced a post-doctoral position with Prof Alexandra Sinclair, which focussed on idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) and repurposing GLP-1R agonists for use in raised ICP conditions. During this time she spent over a year working at the world-leading Danish Headache Center (Copenhagen, Denmark) in collaboration with Prof Rigmor Jensen.

Recently she has been awarded a Wellcome ISSF Accelerator Fellowship (2017) and a Medical Research Foundation Award (2019) to develop her research in CSF dynamics and stroke.


Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate supervision

  • Post-graduate supervisor


Research interests

Hannah’s research focusses on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) disorders such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), hydrocephalus and haemorrhagic stroke. She also conducts research into ocular disorders such as glaucoma which shares similar dysregulated fluid dynamics.

She is interested in understanding how changes in fluid dynamics, inflammation, matrix biology and ageing contribute to pathology in order to develop novel therapeutic strategies to improve patient outcome.

 Current projects

  • Investigating anti-scarring agents to treat inflammation and fibrosis in post-haemorrhagic hydrocephalus
  • Determining the impact of haemorrhagic stroke on fluid dynamics and brain ageing
  • Developing in vitro models of haemorrhagic stroke to determine the impact of blood products on the brain
  • Developing anti-scarring eye drops for anterior segment fibrosis in glaucoma

Other activities

Member of:

  • British Neuroscience Association
  • Society for Endocrinology
  • British Inflammation Research Association

Current member of the Postdoctoral and Early Researcher Career Training and Development committee at the University of Birmingham


Recent publications


Markey, K, Mitchell, J, Botfield, H, Ottridge, R, Woolley, R, Westgate, C, Yiangou, A, Alimajstorovic, Z, Ives, N, Taylor, A, Gilligan, L, Jenkinson, C, Arlt, W, Scotton, W, Lavery, G, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2020, '11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 inhibition in idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a double-blind randomized controlled trial', Brain Communications, vol. 2, no. 1, fcz050. https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz050

OʼReilly, MW, Westgate, C, Hornby, C, Botfield, H, Taylor, A, Markey, K, Mitchell, J, Scotton, W, Mollan, S, Yiangou, A, Jenkinson, C, Gilligan, L, Sherlock, M, Gibney, J, Tomlinson, JW, Lavery, G, Hodson, D, Arlt, W & Sinclair, A 2019, 'A unique androgen excess signature in idiopathic intracranial hypertension is linked to cerebrospinal fluid dynamics', JCI Insight, vol. 4, no. 6, e125348. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.125348

Hornby, C, Mollan, S, Botfield, H, OʼReilly, MW & Sinclair, A 2018, 'Metabolic Concepts in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension and Their Potential for Therapeutic Intervention', Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 522–530. https://doi.org/10.1097/WNO.0000000000000684

Yiangou, A, Mitchell, J, Markey, KA, Scotton, W, Nightingale, P, Botfield, H, Ottridge, R, Mollan, SP & Sinclair, AJ 2018, 'Therapeutic lumbar puncture for headache in idiopathic intracranial hypertension: Minimal gain, is it worth the pain?', Cephalalgia. https://doi.org/10.1177/0333102418782192

Scotton, WJ, Botfield, HF, Westgate, CS, Mitchell, JL, Yiangou, A, Uldall, MS, Jensen, RH & Sinclair, AJ 2018, 'Topiramate is more effective than acetazolamide at lowering intracranial pressure', Cephalalgia. https://doi.org/10.1177/0333102418776455

Scotton, WJ, Mollan, SP, Botfield, H, Yiangou, A, Markey, K, Sinclair, AJ, Walters, T, Doughty, S & Williamson, S 2018, 'Characterising the patient experience of diagnostic lumbar puncture in idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a cross-sectional online survey', BMJ open, vol. 8, no. 5, e020445. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-020445

Botfield, HF, Uldall, MS, Westgate, CSJ, Mitchell, JL, Hagen, SM, Gonzalez, AM, Hodson, DJ, Jensen, RH & Sinclair, AJ 2017, 'A glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist reduces intracranial pressure in a rat model of hydrocephalus', Science Translational Medicine, vol. 9, no. 404, eaan0972. https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aan0972

Hornby, C, Botfield, H, O'reilly, M, Westgate, C, Mitchell, J, Mollan, S, Manolopoulos, K, Tomlinson, J & Sinclair, A 2017, 'Evaluating the fat distribution in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension using Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning', Neuro-Ophthalmology. https://doi.org/10.1080/01658107.2017.1334218

Uldall, M, Botfield, H, Jansen-Olesen, I, Sinclair, A & Jensen, R 2017, 'Acetazolamide Lowers Intracranial Pressure and Modulates the Cerebrospinal Fluid Secretion Pathway in Healthy Rats', Neuroscience Letters, vol. 645, pp. 33-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2017.02.032

Ottridge, R, Mollan, SP, Botfield, H, Frew, E, Ives, N, Matthews, T, Mitchell, J, Rick, C, Singhal, R, Woolley, R & Sinclair, A 2017, 'A randomised controlled trial of bariatric surgery versus a community weight loss programme for the sustained treatment of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension: the Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension Weight Trial (IIH:WT) protocol', BMJ open, vol. 7, e017426. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017426

Mollan, S, Ali, F, Hassan-Smith, G, Botfield, H, Friedman, DI & Sinclair, A 2016, 'Evolving evidence in adult idiopathic intracranial hypertension: pathophysiology and management', Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, vol. 87, no. 9, pp. 982-992. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2015-311302

Aojula, A, Botfield, H, McAllister, JP, Gonzalez, A, Abdullah, O, Logan, A & Sinclair, A 2016, 'Diffusion tensor imaging with direct cytopathological validation: characterisation of decorin treatment in experimental juvenile communicating hydrocephalus', Fluids and barriers of the CNS, vol. 13, 9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12987-016-0033-2

Markey, KA, Uldall, M, Botfield, H, Cato, LD, Miah, MAL, Hassan-Smith, G, Jensen, RH, Gonzalez, AM & Sinclair, AJ 2016, 'Idiopathic intracranial hypertension, hormones, and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases', Pain, vol. 9, pp. 223-32. https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S80824

Botfield, H, Gonzalez, AM, Abdullah, O, Skjolding, AD, Berry, M, McAllister, JP & Logan, A 2013, 'Decorin prevents the development of juvenile communicating hydrocephalus', Brain, vol. 136, no. Pt 9, pp. 2842-58. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awt203

Gonzalez, A, Podvin, S, Lin, SY, Miller, MC, Botfield, H, Leadbeater, W, Roberton, A, Dang, X, Knowling, SE, Cardenas-Galindo, E, Donahue, JE, Stopa, EG, Johanson, CE, Coimbra, R, Eliceiri, BP & Baird, A 2011, 'Ecrg4 expression and its product augurin in the choroid plexus: impact on fetal brain development, cerebrospinal fluid homeostasis and neuroprogenitor cell response to CNS injury.', Fluids and barriers of the CNS, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/2045-8118-8-6

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