Professor Alexandra J. Sinclair MBChB, MRCP, PhD

Alex Sinclair

Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
Professor of Neurology
IMSR Lead for Business Engagement

Contact details

Address
Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

Professor Sinclair now works as a Clinician Scientist with a role combining clinical neurology with translational research into idiopathic intracranial hypertension and the neuroendocrine aspects of headache.

Professor Sinclair and her research group recently hosted a high profile visit from NASA. NASA are interested in Professor Sinclair's expertise on raised Intracranial pressure stemming from her leading Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension clinical service at University Hospital Birmingham coupled with her translational science portfolio at the University of Birmingham. Her recent discovery of the novel use of Glucogon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists to reduce intracranial pressure are of particular interest to the NASA team in their quest to reduce brain pressure during long duration space travel and allow them to go beyond the Moon. The NASA visitors were: Dr JD Polk, Chief Health and Medical Officer, Dr Terrance Taddeo, Johnson Space Centre Chief Medical Officer, Dr Mike Barratt, Physician and Astronaut, Dr Victor Schneider, Physician Liaison to the NASA Human Research Programme and Dr John Allen, Audiologist and member of the Human Exploration. As part of the visit Dr JD Polk gave a sold-out key note talk.

Qualifications

  • PhD, 2010
  • Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP), UK, 2003
  • MBChB, University of Birmingham, 2000

Biography

Professor Sinclair graduated from the University Of Birmingham School Of Medicine in 2000 with honours and attained her MRCP in 2003. She completed her PhD in 2010 funded by a Medical Research Council Clinical Research Training Fellowship. Subsequently she worked as a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Lecturer in Neurology and then a NIHR funded Clinician Scientist & Neurology Consultant. She leads a translational research group, which seeks to establish and exploit the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning the debilitating effects of metabolism and intracranial pressure on headache, develop therapeutic strategies, and generate real impact while improving patient care. The translational portfolio also encompasses a clinical trials program enabling forward (novel therapeutic molecules are under assessment in patients) and back translation (biomarker evaluation in the laboratory setting). She leads the multidisciplinary clinical headache service and Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension service at University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

Professor Sinclair is the Deputy Chair for the Association for British Neurologists grouping for headache and pain (ABN AAG) and a council member for the British Association for the Study of headache (BASH). She is on the research committee for the Association for British Neurologists. Internationally she is on the scientific committee for the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society (NANOS) and a member of the board for the  International Headache Society and the European Headache Federation.

Teaching

Current teaching includes:

  • SP1 student selected teaching module (2nd year MBChB) on “New Treatments in Neurology”
  • Neurology Demonstration Programme (3rd year MBChB)

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Sinclair is interested in supervising doctoral research students in translational research developing new understanding and therapeutic approaches for diseases related to disorders of  intracranial pressure such as idiopathic intracranial hypertension and also headache.

Research

Alex's Metabolic Neurology Group seeks to establish and exploit the pathophysiological mechanisms underpinning the debilitating effects of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), to develop therapeutic strategies and generate real impact while improving patient care. The translational portfolio encompasses novel in vitro and in vivo models evaluating intracranial pressure regulation complemented by a clinical trials program enabling forward (novel therapeutic molecules are under assessment in patients) and back translation (biomarker evaluation in the laboratory setting).

Through a Sir Jules Thorn Award for Biomedical Science Alex is running a 5 year program defining new treatment and headache mechanisms in raised intracranial pressure. Treatment advances for Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension (IIH) are also being translated from our pre-clinical work though the University of Birmingham spin-out company Invex Therapeutics (Founder and  Chief Scientific Officer).

Other activities

Membership of professional bodies

  • General Medical Council (4703369)
  • Member of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) UK (since 2003)
  • British Medical Association
  • Association of British Neurologists (ABN)
  • British Association for the Study of Headache (BASH)

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Mollan, S, Mitchell, J, Ottridge, R, Aguiar, M, Alimajstorovic, Z, Cartwright, D, Grech, O, Lavery, G, Westgate, C, Vijay, V, Scotton, W, Wakerley, B, Matthews, T, Ansons, A, Hickman, S, Benzimra, J, Rick, C, Singhal, R, Tahrani, A, Brock, K, Frew, E & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Bariatric surgery versus community weight management intervention for the treatment of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH:WT): a randomized controlled trial', JAMA Neurology.

Elliot, L, Frew, E, Mollan, S, Mitchell, J, Yiangou, A, Alimajstorovic, Z, Ottridge, R, Wakerley, B, Thaller, M, Grech, O, Singhal, R, Tahrani, A, Harrison, M, Sinclair, A & Aguiar, M 2021, 'Cost-effectiveness of bariatric surgery versus community weight management to treat obesity-related idiopathic intracranial hypertension: evidence from a single payer health care system', Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soard.2021.03.020

Yiangou, A, Mitchell, J, Fisher, C, Edwards, J, Vijay, V, Alimajstorovic, Z, Grech, O, Lavery, G, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Erenumab for headaches in idiopathic intracranial hypertension: a prospective open-label evaluation', Headache, vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 157-169. https://doi.org/0.1111/head.14026

Pohl, H, Phu Do, T, Garcia-Azorin, D, Hansen, JM, Saxhaug Kristoffersen, E, Nelson, SE, Obermann, M, Sandor, P, Schankin, C, Schytz, HW, Sinclair, A, Schoonman, GG & Gantenbein, AR 2021, 'Green flags and headache: a concept study using the Delphi method', Headache, vol. 2021, no. 00, pp. 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1111/head.14054

Ashina, M, Terwindt, G, Al-Mahdi Al-Karagholi, M, De Boer, I, Lee, MJ, Hay, DL, Schulte, LH, Hadjikhani, N, Sinclair, A, Ashina, H, Schwedt, T & Goadsby, PJ 2021, 'Migraine: disease characterisation, biomarkers, and precision medicine', The Lancet. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32162-0

Westgate, C, Botfield, H, Alimajstorovic, Z, Yiangou, A, Walsh, M, Smith, G, Singhal, R, Mitchell, J, Grech, O, Markey, K, Hebenstreit, D, Tennant, D, Tomlinson, J, Mollan, S, Ludwig, C, Akerman, I, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Systemic and adipocyte transcriptional and metabolic dysregulation in idiopathic intracranial hypertension', JCI Insight. <https://insight.jci.org/>

Mitchell, J, Mollan, S, Tsermoulas, G & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Telemetric monitoring in idiopathic intracranial hypertension demonstrates intracranial pressure in a case with sight-threatening disease', Acta Neurochirurgica. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00701-020-04640-y

Mollan, S, Tahrani, A & Sinclair, A 2021, 'The potentially modifiable risk factor in idiopathic intracranial hypertension: body weight', Neurology: Clinical Practice. https://doi.org/10.1212/CPJ.0000000000001063

Markey, K, Mitchell, J, Botfield, H, Ottridge, R, Matthews, T, Krishnan, A, Woolley, R, Westgate, C, Yiangou, A, Alimajstorovic, Z, Shah, P, Rick, C, Ives, N, Taylor, A, Gilligan, L, Jenkinson, C, Arlt, W, Scotton, W, Fairclough, RJ, Singhal, R, Stewart, PM, Tomlinson, JW, 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

Yiangou, A, Mitchell, J, Vijay, V, Grech, O, Bilton, E, Lavery, G, Fisher, C, Edwards, J, Mollan, S & Sinclair, A 2020, 'Calcitonin gene related peptide monoclonal antibody treats headache in patients with active idiopathic intracranial hypertension', The Journal of Headache and Pain, vol. 21, no. 1, 116 . https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-020-01182-7

Grech, O, Mollan, S, Wakerley, B, Alimajstorovic, Z, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2020, 'Emerging themes in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension', Journal of Neurology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00415-020-10090-4

Sacco, S, Braschinsky, M, Ducros, A, Lampl, C, Little, P, Maassen Van Den Brink, A, Pozo-Rosich, P, Reuter, U, Ruiz De La Torre, E, Sanchez Del Rio, M, Sinclair, A, Katsarava, Z & Martelletti, P 2020, 'European headache federation consensus on the definition of resistant and refractory migraine : developed with the endorsement of the European Migraine & Headache Alliance (EMHA)', The Journal of Headache and Pain, vol. 21, 76. https://doi.org/10.1186/s10194-020-01130-5

Review article

Hardy, R, Botfield, H, Markey, K, Mitchell, J, Alimajstorovic, Z, Westgate, C, Sagmeister, M, Fairclough, R, Ottridge, R, Yiangou, A, Storbeck, K-H, Taylor, A, Gilligan, L, Arlt, W, Stewart, P, Tomlinson, J, Mollan, S, Lavery, G & Sinclair, A 2021, '11βHSD1 inhibition with AZD4017 improves lipid profiles and lean muscle mass in Idiopathic intracranial hypertension', Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 174-187. https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa766

Mollan, S, Virdee, J, Bilton, E, Thaller, M, Krishan, A & Sinclair, A 2021, 'Headache for ophthalmologists: current advances in headache understanding and management', Eye. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41433-021-01421-4

Gurney, S, Ramalingam, S, Thomas, A, Sinclair, A & Mollan, S 2020, 'Exploring the current management idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and understanding the role of dural venous sinus stenting', Eye and Brain, vol. 2020, no. 12. https://doi.org/10.2147/EB.S193027

View all publications in research portal