GBIRG Members

Neuropathology Research Laboratory

Dr Willie Stewart – BSc, MBChb, PhD, DipFMS, FRCPath

Dr 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).

Dr 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, Dr 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. Dr 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.

Dr Craig McKittrick – BSc (Hons), PhD
Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Craig graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BSc (Hons) Immunology and Microbiology before undertaking his PhD studies at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS). His PhD was focussed on understanding the contribution of mast cells to inflammation and blood brain barrier integrity in the post-stroke brain. Following this Craig spent almost five years as a post-doctoral researcher at Strathclyde, working between SIPBS and the Department of Biomedical Engineering. At SIPBS, Craig investigated the use of stem cells and biomaterials for post-stroke neurorepair. His work in biomedical engineering involved optimising coronary stent based drug delivery, as well as development of synthetic blood vessels using biomaterials. During his time with the Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group Craig will investigate amyloid beta processing following traumatic brain injury.

Claire Kennedy Dietrich – BSc (Hons), 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.

Victoria Dimitrova – BSc (Hons)
Research Assistant

Victoria graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Anatomy from the University of Glasgow in 2017. During her degree she undertook projects in paediatric neuropathology at the Kaneff University Hospital, Bulgaria. After graduation she joined the department of Forensic Medicine and Science at the University of Glasgow. There she specialised in processing tissues for forensic analysis. Currently she is undergoing a project on neurogenesis or how the brain heals itself. This project aims to understand how the brain recovers after traumatic brain injury and how this process can be utilized to improve patients’ outcomes.

Hannah Morgan – BSc (Hons)
PhD Student

Hannah started her first year of her PhD at the University of Glasgow in October 2017. Previously, Hannah worked as the laboratory technician  for the Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. For 3 year, her previous role encompassed much of the technical work that was carried out within the lab including tissue sectioning, immunohistochemistry as well as developing and maintaining the Glasgow Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Archive. Hannah graduated from the University of Glasgow in 2013 with a BSc (Hons) in Anatomy.

Emma Russell – BSc (Hons), MSc
PhD student

Emma started her PhD at the University of Glasgow in March 2018. Emma has graduated from the University of Glasgow with a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience, and an MSc in Stratified Medicine. The focus of her PhD research is 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 has previously conducted research at the University of Glasgow and University College London in the field of bipolar affective disorder.

Kamar Ameen-Ali – BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD
Research Associate

Kamar graduated from Durham University with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology, before undertaking an MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and PhD in Behavioural Neuroscience and Neurobiology, both at Durham.
Her PhD involved developing behavioural paradigms for assessing complex forms of memory in rodents and humans. Following her PhD, Kamar worked at the University of Sheffield investigating recognition memory impairment and glial pathology in hAPP-J20 Alzheimers’s mice. Whilst in Sheffield she spent time working for the NC3Rs as a programme manager, before moving to Newcastle University to research microglial cell pathology in human post-stroke and dementia cases.
As part of the Glasgow Brain Injury Group, Kamar will be working on the CONNECT-TBI project investigating the relationship between traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease.

Rebecca Hogben – BA(Hons)

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.

Current Students (2018-2019)

E Russell (2018 – )
H Morgan (2017- )

BSc Neuroscience



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)