Professor Christopher McDermott (MBChB FRCP PhD)Chris McDermott

Professor of Translational Neurology and Honorary Consultant Neurologist

University of Sheffield
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health
Department of Neuroscience
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience
385a Glossop Road
United Kingdom, S10 2HQ

Telephone: +44 (0)114 22 22261

Secretary: Rebecca Crossland
Telephone: +44(0)114 22 22261


Prof McDermott studied for his medical degree at the University in Leeds graduating in 1994. He then continued is general medical and specialist neurology training in Leeds before taking up a clinical research training fellowship at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He moved to the University of Sheffield with Professor Dame Pamela Shaw in 2000 to undertake his Wellcome Trust Research Training PhD Fellowship and to complete his Specialist Training in Neurology to become a Consultant Neurologist in 2006. Prof McDermott is now the Professor of Translational Neurology at SITraN and a Consultant Neurologist at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust regularly undertaking specialist MND and neuromuscular clinics in Sheffield.

The main drive of Prof McDermott’s research programme is developing the evidence base for delivering supportive and symptomatic care for patients living with motor neuron disease. He is also interested in studying mechanisms of neurodegeneration, in order to develop treatments for patients with motor neuron disease and hereditary spastic paraplegia.

Current Projects

  • Investigating optimal respiratory support for patients with MND
  • Establishing an evidence base for nutritional support in MND
  • Designing and evaluating assistive technologies for patients with neuromuscular weakness
  • Developing and evaluating novel service delivery mechanisms for patients with long term neurological conditions
  • Genetic and phenotypic characterisation of motor system disorders
  • Natural history study of motor system disorders
  • Collaborating with pharmaceutical companies in Phase 1-3 studies
  • Improving symptomatic management for patients with MND
  • Epidemiology of motor neuron disease

Professor of Translational Neurology
Academic Director for Neuroscience, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Reader in Neurology
Academic Director for Neuroscience, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Neurology

Specialist Training in Neurology (CCT), Sheffield

Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship (PhD), University of Sheffield.

Clinical Research Fellow, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Specialist Training in Neurology, Leeds.

General professional training (MRCP), Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Medicine (MBChB), University of Leeds.

Professional Experience

  • External examiner Neuroscience MSc, Kings College London (2016 onwards)
  • Expert Advisor for NICE (2016 onwards)
  • Charitable Trustee for Neurocare (2016 onwards)
  • Group Leader for the International ALS Clinical Trials Guidelines (2015 onwards).
  • Chair of the NIHR DeNDRoN MND Clinical Studies Group (2015 onwards)
  • Chair of the MND Association Clinical Advisory Board (2015 onwards)
  • Member MND NICE Clinical Guidelines Development Group (2013 – 2016) and NICE Quality Assurance panel (2015 - 2016).
  • Founding Course Leader – Clinical Neurology MSc, University of Sheffield 2011-2015
  • Clinical Lead for Neurology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals 2012-2014
  • Member of NIHR RfPB (2010-2014) and MNDA healthcare research grant panels (2014 onwards).
  • Representation of the Yorkshire and Humber region nationally on the Joint Royal College of Physician’s Specialty Advisory Committee (2008 - 2013).
  • Training Programme Director for Neurology Yorkshire and Humber (2008-2012)

Invited lectures:


  • Manchester Regional Neurosciences Centre – The evidence base for supportive Care in ALS.
  • Newcastle upon Tyne, MND study day – Delivering evidence based care for individuals with ALS.
  • Sheffield MND Study day – Recent developments in ALS care.
  • St Christopher’s Hospice, London – Nutritional Care in ALS.
  • Primary Care 2016, NEC, Birmingham – NICE guidelines for primary care.


  • British Thoracic Society, London – Diaphragmatic Pacing in ALS
  • Difficult Lung Disease symposium, Sheffield – Neuromuscular disease for the respiratory physician.
  • MNDA Care Centre meeting, Stafford - myNIV
  • Association of palliative medicine neurological palliative care specialist interest forum, Manchester – What is new in MND.
  • 1st UK PLS conference, Oxford – HSP and PLS
  • WFN ALS meeting, Orlando – DiPALS results


  • MNDA Care Centre meeting, Stafford – Head Up
  • Royal Society Medicine, London – The evidence base for symptomatic care in ALS
  • MND Centre, Oxford – Update on symptomatic care.
  • The Walton Centre, Liverpool - Update on symptomatic care.
  • St Christopher’s Hospice, London – Head Up.
  • Royal College of Physicians Regional Update, Sheffield – Neurology for the physician.


  • Plenary speaker: ENCALS, Sheffield - While we wait.
  • MND Care Centre Directors meeting, Birmingham – Head Up and Secretion management
  • St Christopher’s Hospice, London – Diaphragmatic Pacing
  • The Walton Centre Regional Neurosciences Centre, Liverpool – Respiratory management of MND


  • Edinburgh Regional Neurosciences Centre - Respiratory management of MND
  • Home Mechanical Ventilation Meeting, St Thomas Hospital, London – Role of Diaphragmatic Pacing
  • Palliative Care Symposium, Leeds – Living with MND
  • MNDA AGM – Developing the evidence base for clinical care in MND


  • Association of British Neurologists meeting – Clinical advances in MND
  • European federation of neurological sciences, Lisbon – MND and its mimics


  • European Federation of Neurological Sciences, Rhodes - Lump or Split?
  • MNDA Birmingham – Diaphragmatic Pacing in MND
  • Nutrition Course, Leeds – Nutrition in MND


  • Leeds MNDA centre opening – Hereditary spastic paraparesis

Principal Funding Sources:

  • Motor Neurone Disease Association, UK
  • Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • National Institute of Health Research (NIHR)
  • Marie Curie

Members of Research Group:

  • Esther Hobson
  • Theocharis Stavroulakis
  • Helen Wolff
  • Mbombe Kazoka

Representative Publications:

McGeachan AJ, Hobson EV, Al-Chalabi A, Stephenson J, Chandran S, Crawley F, Dick D, Donaghy C, Ellis CM, Gorrie G, Hanemann CO, Harrower T, Jung A, Malaspina A, Morrison KE, Orrell RW, Talbot K, Turner MR, Williams TL, Young CA, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. A multicentre evaluation of oropharyngeal secretion management practices in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2016 Aug 31:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID:27579520.

Hobson EV, McDermott CJ. Supportive and symptomatic management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nat Rev Neurol. 2016 Sep;12(9):526-38. doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2016.111. Review. PubMed PMID: 27514291.

McDermott CJ, Bradburn MJ, Maguire C, Cooper CL, Baird WO, Baxter SK, Cohen J, Cantrill H, Dixon S, Ackroyd R, Baudouin S, Bentley A, Berrisford R, Bianchi S, Bourke SC, Darlison R, Ealing J, Elliott M, Fitzgerald P, Galloway S, Hamdalla H, Hanemann CO, Hughes P, Imam I, Karat D, Leek R, Maynard N, Orrell RW, Sarela A, Stradling J, Talbot K, Taylor L, Turner M, Simonds AK, Williams T, Wedzicha W, Young C, Shaw PJ. DiPALS: Diaphragm Pacing in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - a randomised controlled trial. Health Technol Assess. 2016 Jun;20(45):1-186. doi: 10.3310/hta20450. PubMed PMID: 27353839; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4939419.

Stavroulakis T, McDermott CJ. Enteral feeding in neurological disorders. Pract Neurol. 2016 Oct;16(5):352-61. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2016-001408. Review. PubMed PMID: 27152026.

Janssens AI, Ruytings M, Al-Chalabi A, Chio A, Hardiman O, McDermott CJ, Meyer T, Mora G, Van Damme P, Van Den Berg LH, Vanhaecht K, Winkler AS, Sermeus W; ALS-CARE Consortium.. A mapping review of international guidance on the management and care of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2016 Jul-Aug;17(5-6):325-36. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2016.1167911. PubMed PMID: 27078045.

Hobson EV, Baird WO, Cooper CL, Mawson S, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. Using technology to improve access to specialist care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A systematic review. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2016 Jul-Aug;17(5-6):313-24. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2016.1165255. PubMed PMID: 27027466.

DiPALS Writing Committee; DiPALS Study Group Collaborators. Safety and efficacy of diaphragm pacing in patients with respiratory insufficiency due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (DiPALS): a multicentre, open-label, randomized controlled trial. Lancet Neurol. 2015 Sep;14(9):883-92. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00152-0. Epub 2015 Jul 30. PubMed PMID: 26234554.

Reed H, Langley J, Stanton A, Heron N, Clarke Z, Judge S, McCarthy A, Squire G, Quinn A, Wells O, Tindale W, Baxter S, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. Head-Up; An interdisciplinary, participatory and co-design process informing the development of a novel head and neck support for people living with progressive neck muscle weakness. J Med Eng Technol. 2014;39:404-10.

Rafiq MK, Lee E, Bradburn M, McDermott CJ, Shaw PJ. Effect of lipid profile on prognosis in the patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Insights from the olesoxime clinical trial. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015 Dec;16(7-8):478-84. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2015.1062517. Epub 2015 Jul 10. PubMed PMID: 26161993.

Rafiq MK, Bradburn M, Proctor AR, Billings CG, Bianchi S, McDermott CJ, Shaw PJ. A preliminary randomized trial of the mechanical insufflator-exsufflator versus breath-stacking technique in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015 Dec;16(7-8):448-55.doi:10.3109/21678421.2015.1051992. Epub 2015 Jul 3. PubMed PMID: 26140500.

ProGas Study Group. Gastrostomy in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ProGas): a prospective cohort study. Lancet Neurol. 2015 Jul;14(7):702-9. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(15)00104-0. Epub 2015 May 28. PubMed PMID: 26027943; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4578147.

McGeachan AJ, Hobson EV, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. Developing an outcome measure for excessive saliva management in MND and an evaluation of saliva burden in Sheffield. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2015 Mar;16(1-2):108-13. doi: 10.3109/21678421.2014.951942. Epub 2014 Sep 16. PubMed PMID: 25225845.

Jenkins TM, Hollinger H, McDermott CJ. The evidence for symptomatic treatments in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Curr Opin Neurol. 2014 Oct;27(5):524-31. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000135. Review. PubMed PMID: 25110934.

Stavroulakis T, Baird WO, Baxter SK, Walsh T, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. The impact of gastrostomy in motor neurone disease: challenges and benefits from a patient and carer perspective. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2014 May 21. pii: bmjspcare-2013-000609. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000609. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24848262.

Stavroulakis T, Baird WO, Baxter SK, Walsh T, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. Factors influencing decision-making in relation to timing of gastrostomy insertion in patients with motor neurone disease. BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2014 Mar;4(1):57-63. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000497. Epub 2013 Dec 11. PubMed PMID: 24644772.

The use of non-invasive ventilation at end of life in patients with motor neurone disease: A qualitative exploration of family carer and health professional experiences. Baxter SK, Baird WO, Thompson S, Bianchi SM, Walters SJ, Lee E, Ahmedzai SH, Proctor A, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. Palliative Medicine. 2013; In Press.

Lack of unique neuropathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with p.K54E angiogenin (ANG) mutation. Kirby J, Highley JR, Cox L, Goodall EF, Hewitt C, Hartley JA, Hollinger HC, Fox M, Ince PG, McDermott CJ, Shaw PJ. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2012 Dec 10. doi: 10.1111/nan.12007. [Epub ahead of print]

The natural history of motor neurone disease: assessing the impact of specialist care. Tomi Aridegbe, Ros Kandler, Theresa Walsh, Pamela J Shaw, Christopher J McDermott. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2013;14:13-19 Concurrence of multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in patients with hexanucleotide repeat expansions of C9ORF72.

Ismail A, Cooper-Knock J, Highley JR, Milano A, Kirby J, Goodall E, Lowe J, Scott I, Constantinescu CS, Walters SJ, Price S, McDermott CJ, Sawcer S, CompstonDA, Sharrack B, Shaw PJ. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013;84:79-87

The initiation of non-invasive ventilation for patients with motor neuron disease: Patient and carer perceptions of obstacles and outcomes. Baxter SK, Baird WO, Thompson S, Bianchi SM, Walters SJ, Lee E, Ahmedzai SH, Proctor A, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2012;14:105-110.

Gastrostomy use in motor neurone disease (MND): A review, meta-analysis and survey of current practice. Stavroulakis T, Walsh T, Shaw PJ, McDermott CJ; (on behalf of the Progas Study). Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2012;14:96-104.

Protocol for Diaphragm Pacing in patients with respiratory muscle weakness due to Motor Neurone Disease (DiPALS): a randomised controlled trial [Trial Registration: Current controlled trials ISRCTN53817913]. McDermott C J, Maguire C, Cooper C L, Ackroyd R, Baird W O, Baudouin S, Bentley A, Bianchi S, Bourke S, Bradburn M J, Dixon S, Ealing J, Galloway S, Karat D, Maynard N, Morrison K, Mustfa N, Stradling J, Talbot K, Williams T and Shaw P J. BMC Neurology. 2012;12:74

Using transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitor (TOSCA 500) to detect respiratory failure in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a validation study. Muhammad K Rafiq, Michael Bradburn, Alison R Proctor, Catherine Billings, Stephen Bianchi, Christopher J McDermott, Pamela J Shaw. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2012;13:528-532

Respiratory management of motor neurone disease: a review of current practice and new developments. Muhammad Khizar Rafiq, Alison Ruth Proctor, Christopher J McDermott, Pamela J Shaw. Practical Neurology. 2012;12:166-176.

Clinico-pathological features in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with expansions in C9ORF72. Cooper-Knock J, Hewitt C, Highley JR, Brockington A, Milano A, Man S, McDermott CJ, Shaw PJ. Brain. 2012;135:751-764.

Non-invasive ventilation in motor neuron disease: an update of current UK practice. O'Neill CL, Williams TL, Peel ET, McDermott CJ, Shaw PJ, Gibson GJ, Bourke SC. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2012;83:371-376