Professor, Dame Pamela J Shaw


Department of Neuroscience

Professor of Neurology

Professor of Neurology University of Sheffield 2000 - present

Director, Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) 2010 -present

Director, NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Translational Neuroscience for Chronic Neurological Disorders 2017 - present

Director, Sheffield Care and Research Centre for Motor Neuron Disorders 2002 - present

Director, Cross-Faculty Flagship Neuroscience Institute, University of Sheffield 2019 - present

Honorary Consultant Neurologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 2000 - present

Vice President and Pro-Vice Chancellor Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health, University of Sheffield 2016 - 2019
+44 114 222 2295
+44 114 226 1049 (Medical NHS Secretary: Kathryn Hope )
+44 114 222 2295 (Academic Administrator: Gillian Griffiths)

Full contact details

Professor, Dame Pamela J Shaw
Department of Neuroscience
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Glossop Road
S10 2JF

Professor Shaw graduated in Medicine with 1st Class Honours from the University of Newcastle in 1979. She undertook her MRCP and Specialist Training in Neurology training in Newcastle.

In 1988 she was awarded an MD with commendation for her work on the neurological complications of coronary bypass surgery. After an intermediate fellowship award from the Wellcome Trust, she was awarded a Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Clinical Science which she held from 1991 -2000.

In 1997 she was appointed Professor of Neurological Medicine at the University of Newcastle and in 2000 was appointed as Professor of Neurology at the University of Sheffield.

As an undergraduate in Newcastle she was awarded the Stephen Scott; Gibb; Mary Gordon; Mona McNaughton and Phillipson Prizes/Scholarships and achieved distinction in all undergraduate examinations.

Research interests

Professor Shaw is a Clinician Scientist in Neurology, an NIHR Senior Investigator and formerly a Wellcome Senior Clinical Fellow. Supported by long-term programme funding from the Wellcome Trust, she has since 1991 led a major multidisciplinary programme of research investigating genetic, molecular and neurochemical factors underlying neurodegenerative disorders of the human motor system.

Her team use robust cellular and in vivo models of neurodegeneration and correlate key findings with disease related changes in the human nervous system. Significant research achievements include:

  1. Identification of cell specific features of motor neurons which underlie susceptibility to neurodegeneration.
  2. Understanding the cellular pathways of motor neuron injury in the presence of mutant SOD1 using a combination of cell biology, proteomics and gene expression profiling.
  3. Identifying the different subtypes of motor neuron disease (MND) based on genetics and molecular pathology.
  4. Development of new small molecule and gene therapy candidate treatments for patients using staged screening programmes in cellular and other experimental model systems.
  5. Promoting the introduction of one neuroprotective drug for MND into clinical practice – riluzole.
  6. Establishing the role of non-invasive ventilation (NIV) in improving the quality of life and prolonging survival of MND patients.

Professor Shaw’s research is currently funded by the Medical Research Council, NIHR, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, the European Union and biotechnology & pharmaceutical industry partners. Since 1983 she has generated more than £82m in research income.

Current projects

Professor Shaw’s research is focused on 3 main goals:

  1. To understand the function of motor neurons in health and disease and to translate basic science findings into health benefits for patients with degenerative motor system disorders.
  2. To provide excellent clinical care for patients with motor system disorders, at all disease stages incorporating: multidisciplinary team working, evidence based standards of care for symptomatic management, and evaluation of new neuroprotective therapies.
  3. To foster excellent training for clinical and scientific junior staff with the aim of ensuring high standards of future care and linking new developments in medical science firmly to the needs of patients with neurological disorders.

Since 1983 she has supervised the research training of > 130 individuals from medicine and science including 55 PhD/MD students.

Professor Shaw is the Director of the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre (Translational Neuroscience for Chronic Neurological Disorders) translating new potential treatments from SITraN research into early phase and experimental medicine clinical trials


Journal articles


  • Chandran JS, Scarrott JM, Shaw P & Azzouz M (2017) Gene Therapy in the Nervous System: Failures and Successes In El-Khamisy S (Ed.), Personalised Medicine Lessons from Neurodegeneration to Cancer Springer RIS download Bibtex download
  • Allen C, Shaw PJ & Ferraiuolo L (2017) Can Astrocytes Be a Target for Precision Medicine? In El-Khamisy (Ed.), Personalised Medicine View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Chandran JS, Scarrott JM, Shaw PJ & Azzouz M (2017) Gene Therapy in the Nervous System: Failures and Successes, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (pp. 241-257). Springer International Publishing View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Hardiman O, Kelly JA, Bak TH, Elamin M, Mihaila DL, Shaw PJ, Mitsumoto H & Shefner JM (2016) Clinical Trials in Neurodegeneration, Neurodegenerative Disorders (pp. 289-303). Springer International Publishing RIS download Bibtex download
  • Alix JJP & Shaw PJ (2014) Chapter 18 Thyroid Disease and the Nervous System, Aminoff's Neurology and General Medicine (pp. 329-350). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Abrams GM, Albers GW, Alix JJP, Aminoff MJ, Bharucha AE, Batla A, Benson CM, Betjemann JP, Brosch JR, Camilleri M , Chen R et al (2014) Contributors, Aminoff's Neurology and General Medicine (pp. vii-xii). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shaw PJ (2012) 418 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Other Motor Neuron Diseases, Goldman's Cecil Medicine (pp. 2343-2347). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Abrams CS, Accurso FJ, Afdhal NH, Akin C, Aksamit AJ, Al-Awqati Q, Allos BM, Altshuler D, Aminoff MJ, Anderson JL , Anderson KE et al (2012) Contributors, Goldman's Cecil Medicine (pp. ix-xxx). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shaw PJ, Gooodall EF, Bury JJ, Cooper-Knock J & Kirby J (2011) Genetics of Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis InTech Open Access RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shaw PJ, Cooper-Knock J, Bury JJ, Ferraiuolo L, Goodall EF & Kirby J (2011) Gene Expression Profiling and its Application in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis InTech Open Access RIS download Bibtex download
  • Shaw PJ & Wood-Allum C (2011) The Neurology of Thyroid Disease In Aminoff M (Ed.), Neurology of Systemic Disease RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers


Research group

Current Scientific research team

  • Adrian Higginbottom
  • Nick Verber
  • Aytac Gul
  • Ilaria Giovanelli
  • Simon Bell
  • Anushka Bharkava
  • Marco Destro
  • Ana Aragon Gonzalez
  • James Lee
  • Amie Keerie
  • Allan Shaw
  • Charlotte Mason
  • Khoa Pham
  • Tobi Moll
  • Calum Harvey
  • Selina Wray

SITraN PI Scientific Collaborators

  • Laura Ferraiuolo
  • Robin Highley
  • Richard Mead
  • Janine Kirby
  • Scott Allen
  • Guillaume Hautbergue
  • Mimoun Azzouz
  • Johnathan Cooper-Knock
  • James Alix
  • Tennore Ramesh

Current Clinical Research Team

  • Helen Wollff
  • Mbombe Kazoka
  • Lee Tuddenham
  • James Alix
  • Stacy Young
  • Johnathan Cooper-Knock
  • Nick Verber
  • Calum Harvey

SITraN PI Clinical Research Collaborators

  • Chris McDermott
  • Tom Jenkins

Principal Funding Sources

  • The Wellcome Trust
  • The Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • The Medical Research Council
  • LifeArc
  • NIHR
  • European Union
  • Pharmaceutical partners
Professional activities

Professor Shaw is a member of multiple national and international committees, sits on the editorial board of several journals including Brain and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is a reviewer for numerous other journals.

Membership of Editorial Boards

  • Muscle and Nerve
  • Editorial Panel for Research Frontiers in Science, British Medical Journal.
  • Editorial board of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis & Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Editorial Board of Brain

She has been a research advisory panel member for the Wellcome Trust, MNDA, MRC, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Academy of Science Finland and reviews for multiple grant awarding bodies.

Membership of National and International Committees

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland from 1996 to 1999.
  • Member of the Motor Neurone Disease Research Advisory Panel from1993 to 1997.
  • Member of the Association of British Neurologists Clinical Research and Academic Committee from 1998 - 2007.
  • Guarantor of the Brain Trust from 1998 - present.
  • Advisor to the Department of Health Medicines Control Agency/ Committee on Safety of Medicines from 1997 - present.
  • Wellcome Trust / Irish Health Board New Blood Fellowship panel from 1998 - 2000.
  • External assessor for Parkinson’s Disease Society 2000.
  • Medical Advisor to the Motor Neurone Disease Association 2000 - present.
  • Member of the Neurosciences Subpanel for the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.
  • Member of the Medical Research Society Committee from 2001 - 2004.
  • Invited expert participant in the NICE panel for the evaluation of riluzole therapy 2001.
  • Member of Council for the Association of British Neurologists from 2001 - 2007.
  • Chair of the Association of British Neurologists Clinical Research and Academic Committee from 2001 -2007.
  • Member of the Wellcome Trust Neurosciences Panel from 2001 - 2004.
  • Member of Meetings Subcommittee of the Association of British Neurologists from 2001-2003.
  • Invited external Neuroscience assessor for Universities of Glasgow and UCL 2003.
  • Member of the Research Advisory panel for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign 2004-2007.
  • Member of the Medical Research Council College of experts 2005-2010.
  • Advisory Board for Oxford Biomedica from 2005 - 2009.
  • Member of HEFCE Clinical Senior Lecturer Appointments Panel 2006 -2009.
  • Associate Director and Chair of the Motor Neuron Disease Clinical Studies Group UKCRN Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Clinical Research Network 2006 – present.
  • Member of NIHR Experimental Medicine Committee and Experimental Medicine Lead for DeNDRoN 2006 – 2010.
  • Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship Panel 2007 – 2010.
  • Academy of Medical Sciences Clinical Academic Training Committee 2007 – 2010.
  • Wellcome Trust / Academy of Medical Sciences New Lecturer Awards panel from 2009 - 2011.
  • UKCRC/ MRC Brain Bank Strategy Advisory Committee 2007 – 2008.
  • Member of MRC strategic group for neurodegeneration 2008 - 2010.
  • Member of the Medical Research Council Neuroscience and Mental Health Board 2012 – present.
  • Academy of Medical Sciences INSPIRE Panel 2012 -2014
  • Chair of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) Research Advisory Panel 2015 – present.
  • World Federation of Neurology Working Group on Therapeutic Trials in ALS/MND from 1996.
  • Founding Secretary to the European ALS Study Group from 1997 to 2000.
  • European ENCALS Steering Group 2002 – 2012.
  • Member of the European Neurological Society Scientific Committee on motor neurone disease from 1998 - 2006.
  • Coordinator of the Molecular/ Cell Biology Section of the European Familial ALS Group from 1997 to 2000.
  • External Assessor for the appointments committee for consultant posts in Neurology at the Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 1999.
  • Steering Committee ONO Pharmaceuticals from 2002 - 2005.
  • Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for International MND/ALS annual scientific symposium 2004 –2010.
  • Novartis ALS/MND international advisory board, 2002 - 2003.
  • Member of the scientific panel for the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS) 2004 -2006.
  • Member of the scientific panel and organising committee for the XI International Congress on Neuromuscular disorders 2004 -2006.
  • Princes Beatrijs Fonds Neuroscience Panel The Netherlands 2006.
  • Irish Health Research Board Clinician Scientist review panel 2010.
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the European Network for the Cure of ALS (ENCALS) 2012 – present.
  • Member of the Academy of Science Finland Neuroscience Grant panel 2013 – 2014. Chair 2014.
  • Academy of Medical Sciences INSPIRE Panel 2012 -2014
  • UK Lead for the Biogen ALS Innovation Hub 2015 – present.
  • Chair of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) Research Advisory Panel 2015 – 2017. 
  • Member of the Scientific Committee for the European Neuromuscular Centre (ENMC) 2015 – 2016
  • KU Leuven External Advisory Board Chair for the « Opening of the Future » funding awards.
  • Panel member for the Hong Kong Universities Research Exercise Framework 2019-2020
  • Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship Panel 2017 - present.
  • Lister Institute Board of Governors 2018 – present
  • UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Panel and College 2020- present
Postgraduate awards
  • 2021    Singhal award Lecture XXV World Congress of Neurology, Rome.
  • 2019    National Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2019 for excellence and innovation in Neuroscience awarded to the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.
  • 2019    European Academy of Neurology Moritz Romberg Lecture
  • 2019    Association of British Neurologists 2019 Medallist
  • 2018/19 The Physiological Society GL Brown Prize Lectures
  • 2018    Science and Society Public Lecture University of Liverpool, June 2018.
  • 2017    Honorary Doctor of Medicine, University of Sussex in recognition of major contribution to the field of Neurology.
  • 2017 Kosterlitz Prize and Lecture, University of Aberdeen.
  • 2017 Honorary Degree, University of Bradford for internationally recognized work in the field of Neurology and instrumental work in setting standards of excellence in the clinical care for patients.
  • 2017 Honorary Doctor of Medicine, University of Sussex in recognition of major contribution to the field of Neurology.
  • 2017 University of Sussex Brain Visiting Professorship
  • 2017 Kosterlitz Lecture, University of Aberdeen.
  • 2016 Croonian Lecture, UK Royal College of Physicians
  • 2015 Osler Lecture, Association of Physicians of the United Kingdom and Ireland
  • 2015 Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for groundbreaking basic and translational research of relevance to the understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • 2014 Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Neuroscience
  • 2014 Jacobson Visiting Professorship, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  • 2013 Alfred Meyer’s Memorial Award Lecture British Neuropathological Society
  • 2013 NIHR Senior Investigator Award
  • 2013 UK ACCEA Platinum Clinical Excellence Award
  • 2012 Gary and Peggy Edwards Distinguished Visiting Professorship for ALS, Houston USA
  • 2012 Elected President of the North of England Neurological Association
  • 2012 Visiting Professorship, Association of Physicians (Kerala Chapter) India
  • 2012 Elected to membership of the Medical Pilgrims
  • 2007 The International ALS/MND Forbes Norris Award for excellence in research and compassion in clinical care
  • 2007 Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences
  • 2007 Spinoza Visiting Professorship, University of Amsterdam
  • 2006 Royal College of Physicians Jean Hunter Prize for research into nervous disorders
  • 2004 Invited Fellowship of the American Neurological Association
  • 2001 American Academy of Neurology and ALS Association Sheila Essey Award for outstanding research contribution in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/ motor neurone disease
  • 2000 Hong Kong Neurological Association Li Po Shan/ Dr Vincent Liu visiting Professorship
  • 1997 Invited Fellowship of the American Academy of Neurology
  • 1996 Renewal of Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Clinical Science
  • 1995 British Medical Association Vera Down Award
  • 1992 Poster Research prize at the Third International Symposium on ALS/MND
  • 1991 Award of Wellcome Senior Fellowship in Clinical Science
  • 1991 Association of British Neurologists Sir Charles Symonds Prize
  • 1990 North of England Neurological Association Liversedge Research Prize
  • 1985 Northern Regional Health Authority David Dickson Research Prize
  • 1985 Association of Physicians UK Dewar Research Prize
  • 1985 British Cardiac Society Young Investigator of the Year award