GBIRG Members

Neuropathology Research Laboratory

Prof Willie Stewart –  MBChB, PhD, DipFMS, FRCPath, FRCP Edin

Prof Stewart is Consultant Neuropathologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, and holds honorary Associate Professor status at the University of Glasgow (Institute of Neuroscience & Psychology) and the University of Pennsylvania (Department of Neurosurgery).

Prof Stewart leads an internationally regarded research laboratory engaged in multiple programs investigating the pathologies of acute and long-term survival from traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Working with the unique and comprehensive Glasgow TBI Archive, Prof Stewart’s research describes the complex neuropathology of brain injury across a range of exposures and survivals, with particular reference to the link between TBI and neurodegenerative disease. Prof Stewart directs the FIELD study, which aims to describe lifelong health and dementia risk in former soccer, and is Co-PI on the multi-centre collaborative research program CONNECT-TBI.


Claire Kennedy Dietrich – BSc, MSc
Research Technician

Claire graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Anatomy from the University of Dundee in 2013, and with an MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Strathclyde in 2015. During her degrees she undertook projects in evolutionary biology and within medical rehabilitation devices. After graduation she worked for the NHS as a Senior Rehabilitation Technician for three years, assisting patients across Scotland. She is now working as the laboratory technician for GBIRG, carrying out much of the technical work in the lab including processing tissue and organising the Glasgow Traumatic Brain Injury Archive.

Dr Emma Russell – BSc, MSc, PhD
Research Fellow

Emma started her PhD at the University of Glasgow in March 2018 and graduated in April 2022 as Dr Russell! Emma previously graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience, and an MSc in Stratified Medicine. The focus of her PhD research was to understand the influence traumatic brain injury (encountered during contact sport participation) has on the development of neurodegenerative disorders, such as dementia – as well as investigating the influence sport participation has on general lifelong health and wellbeing. Emma’s published papers for the FIELD study have attracted a huge amount of media attention (read more here), and continue to do so as she begins her work on FIELD:LONG (read more here).

Emma has previously conducted research at the University of Glasgow and University College London in the field of bipolar affective disorder.

Dr Shannon Gilchrist – BSc, MSc, PhD

Research Associate

Shannon completed her PhD at the University of Portsmouth in February 2022, previously graduating from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience and a MRes in Biomedical Sciences (Integrated Mammalian Biology). The focus of her PhD was to understand the mechanisms of neuroinflammation in glial cells of the central nervous system. Since graduating, Shannon was a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Strathclyde, investigating the role of neuromodulation in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. She is now working as a postdoctoral research associate for GBIRG, carrying out research as a member of the CONNECT-TBI team.


Kirstie Cronin – MSci (Hons)
Technician & Research Placement

Kirstie is a Masters student from the University of Glasgow.

Before joining our lab, Kirstie was completing a BSc in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and following extensive application and interview stages was invited to graduate with an MSci accreditation following an additional placement year completing an independent research project, thesis, and dissertation. Kirstie has joined us for the next year to complete a research project as part of her MSci Neuroscience degree which focuses on health outcomes and comorbidities in former rugby players. This essential piece of research will be the focus of her Master thesis and contributes to G.B.I.R.G’s wider research goals.



Rebecca Hogben
Administrative Assistant

Rebecca has worked in a variety of public-facing management roles throughout a colourful career, beginning in 2012 as a writer for film and theatre publications.
She then spent many years working for Oxfam in the city of its origin (Oxford) recruiting and training volunteers as part of several fundraising initiatives before relocating to London to
lead public outreach strategies as a Community Manager for a board games publisher.

Rebecca has now joined GBIRG to help the smooth running of everyday operations for the researchers, and increasing public engagement to raise awareness of brain injury research.

Natalie Jenkins – BSc, MEd, MBPsS
PhD Student

The focus of Natalie’s PhD is head injury sustained through intimate partner violence (IPV).

Natalie has previously worked with the University of Edinburgh on PREVENT dementia.

Further bio coming soon!



Current Students

N Jenkins (2021 – present)
K Cronin (2022 – present)


E Russell (2018 – 2021)
H Morgan (2015-2020)
J Hay (2013-2018, part-time)
B Mouzin (2009-2013)
V Johnson (2008-2012)

V Campbell  (2016)
L Brunton (2015)

L Chambers (2018)
N Garzon Loor (2018)
M Balmer (2018)
C McCann (2016)
G Crosbie (2016)
J Carroll (2016)
G Stark (2016)
R Waite (2015)
J Daley (2015)
A Unsworth (2015)
D Robinson (2015)
C Bryant-Craig (2015)
J McGovern (2014)
J Kang (2013)
S Ansell (2012)
F Begbie (2011)
R Scott Pye (2011)
D Smith (2010)
SY Foo (2010)

Visiting Students
M Raranga
E Bickel