BMBCh MA(Cantab) MRCP(UK) PhD
Principal Research Associate
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge
Honorary Consultant Neurologist
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
Dr Caroline Williams-Gray is a Clinician Scientist and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, specialising in Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders. She studied medicine at Cambridge University and Oxford Clinical School, graduating in 2001, and gained her PhD from Cambridge University in 2008 for work on the cognitive heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease. She trained in neurology in Cambridge, Norwich and Queen Square, London. Following completion of a Clinical Lectureship in Cambridge, she was awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship in 2018. She leads a translational research group investigating the basis of heterogeneity in Parkinson’s and the role of the immune system in this condition.
The overarching research aim of the Williams-Gray group is to better understand the clinical heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the underlying biological basis of this, with the ultimate goal of developing more targeted therapies for different Parkinson’s subtypes. Caroline leads the Cambridge Parkinson’s Disease Research Clinic alongside community-based PD cohort studies, all of which facilitate detailed phenotypic characterization of newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s cases, and the longitudinal tracking of disease trajectories over time. Using epidemiological, functional neuroimaging and genetic approaches, her previous work has defined and characterised distinct cognitive syndromes in PD, and developed predictive tools for dementia risk and other key outcomes which can be used on an individual patient basis.
More recently, her work has focused on the theory that the immune system is a significant player in mediating the heterogeneity of PD and its progression; and in particular that peripheral immune activation plays a critical role through exacerbating microglial activation and neuronal damage in the brain. Her group is investigating this theory through studying blood and CSF-based immune markers, PET neuroimaging and neuropathology in stratified PD cohorts; and she is now leading the first randomized controlled clinical trial repurposing a peripheral immunosuppressive drug (azathioprine) to slow the progression of PD.
Antonina Kouli – postdoctoral research associate
Jonathan Holbrook – postdoctoral research associate
Marta Camacho – Cohort Studies Coordinator/PhD student
Julia Greenland – Clinical Research Fellow/PhD student
Catherine Horne – PhD student
Molly O’Reilly – PD Clinic Coordinator
Link to complete list of published work: https://scholar.google.co.uk/citations?user=yML5E68AAAAJ&hl=en
Wijeyekoon RS, Kronenberg-Versteeg D, Scott KM, Hayat S, Kuan WL, Evans JR, Breen DP, Cummins G, Jones JL, Clatworthy MR, Andres Floto R, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. Peripheral innate immune and bacterial signals relate to clinical heterogeneity in Parkinson’s disease. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2020; doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2020.01.018
Stoker TB, Camacho M, Winder-Rhodes S, Liu G, Scherzer CR, Foltynie T, Evans JR, Breen DP, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. Impact of GBA1 variants on long-term clinical progression and mortality in incident Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2020;91:695-702.
Kim HJ, Mason S, Foltynie T, Winder-Rhodes S, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. Motor complications in Parkinson’s disease: 13-year follow-up of the CamPaIGN cohort. Movement disorders 2020;35(1):185-90.
Martin-Ruiz C, Williams-Gray CH, Yarnall AJ, Boucher JJ, Lawson RA, Wijeyekoon RS, Barker RA, Kolenda C, Parker C, Burn DJ, Von Zglinicki T, Saretzki G. Senescence and Inflammatory Markers for Predicting Clinical Progression in Parkinson’s Disease: The ICICLE-PD Study. Journal of Parkinson’s disease. 2020;10(1):193-206.
Wijeyekoon RS, Moore SF, Farrell K, Breen DP, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. Cerebrospinal Fluid Cytokines and Neurodegeneration‐Associated Proteins in Parkinson’s Disease. Movement disorders 2020;35(6):1062-6.
Kouli A, Horne CB, Williams-Gray CH. Toll-like receptors and their therapeutic potential in Parkinson’s disease and alpha-synucleinopathies. Brain, behavior, and immunity. 2019;81:41-51.
Greenland JC, Williams-Gray CH, Barker RA. The clinical heterogeneity of Parkinson’s disease and its therapeutic implications. The European journal of neuroscience. 2019;49(3):328-38.
White AJ, Wijeyekoon RS, Scott KM, Gunawardana NP, Hayat S, Solim IH, McMahon HT, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. The Peripheral Inflammatory Response to Alpha-Synuclein and Endotoxin in Parkinson’s Disease. Frontiers in neurology. 2018;9:946.
Wijeyekoon RS, Kronenberg-Versteeg D, Scott KM, Hayat S, Jones JL, Clatworthy MR, Floto RA, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. Monocyte Function in Parkinson’s Disease and the Impact of Autologous Serum on Phagocytosis. Frontiers in neurology. 2018;9(870).
Williams-Gray CH, Wijeyekoon RS, Scott KM, Hayat S, Barker RA, Jones JL. Abnormalities of age-related T cell senescence in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of neuroinflammation. 2018 May 28;15(1):166.
Liu G, Locascio JJ, Corvol JC, Boot B, Liao Z, Page K, Franco D, Burke K, Jansen IE, Trisini-Lipsanopoulos A, Winder-Rhodes S, Tanner CM, Lang AE, Eberly S, Elbaz A, Brice A, Mangone G, Ravina B, Shoulson I, Cormier-Dequaire F, Heutink P, van Hilten JJ, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH, Marinus J, Scherzer CR. Prediction of cognition in Parkinson’s disease with a clinical-genetic score: a longitudinal analysis of nine cohorts. The Lancet Neurology. 2017;16(8):620-9.
Collins LM, Williams-Gray CH. The Genetic Basis of Cognitive Impairment and Dementia in Parkinson’s Disease. Frontiers in psychiatry. 2016;7:89.
Williams-Gray CH, Wijeyekoon R, Yarnall AJ, Lawson RA, Breen DP, Evans JR, Cummins GA, Duncan GW, Khoo TK, Burn DJ, Barker RA, group I-Ps. Serum immune markers and disease progression in an incident Parkinson’s disease cohort (ICICLE-PD). Movement disorders 2016 Mar 21;31(7):995-1003.
Velseboer DC, de Bie RM, Wieske L, Evans JR, Mason SL, Foltynie T, Schmand B, de Haan RJ, Post B, Barker RA, Williams-Gray CH. Development and external validation of a prognostic model in newly diagnosed Parkinson disease. Neurology. 2016 Mar 15;86(11):986-93.
Williams-Gray CH, Mason SL, Evans JR, Foltynie T, Brayne C, Robbins TW, Barker RA. The CamPaIGN study of Parkinson’s disease: 10-year outlook in an incident population-based cohort. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. 2013 Nov;84(11):1258-64.
Litvan I, Goldman JG, Troster AI, Schmand BA, Weintraub D, Petersen RC, Mollenhauer B, Adler CH, Marder K, Williams-Gray CH, Aarsland D, Kulisevsky J, Rodriguez-Oroz MC, Burn DJ, Barker RA, Emre M. Diagnostic criteria for mild cognitive impairment in Parkinson’s disease: Movement Disorder Society Task Force guidelines. Movement disorders 2012 Jan 24;27(3):349-56.
Saiki M, Baker A, Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Goodman RS, Taylor CJ, Compston DA, Barker RA, Sawcer SJ, Goris A. Association of the human leucocyte antigen region with susceptibility to Parkinson’s disease. Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry. 2010;81(8):890-1.
Williams-Gray CH, Evans JR, Goris A, Foltynie T, Ban M, Robbins TW, Brayne C, Kolachana BS, Weinberger DR, Sawcer SJ, Barker RA. The distinct cognitive syndromes of Parkinson’s disease: 5 year follow-up of the CamPaIGN cohort. Brain 2009 Nov;132(Pt 11):2958-69.
Williams-Gray CH, Hampshire A, Barker RA, Owen AM. Attentional control in Parkinson’s disease is dependent on COMT val 158 met genotype. Brain 2008 Feb;131(Pt 2):397-408.
Williams-Gray CH, Hampshire A, Robbins TW, Owen AM, Barker RA. Catechol O-methyltransferase val158met genotype influences frontoparietal activity during planning in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of neuroscience 2007 May 2;27(18):4832-8.
Williams-Gray CH, Foltynie T, Brayne CE, Robbins TW, Barker RA. Evolution of cognitive dysfunction in an incident Parkinson’s disease cohort. Brain 2007 Jul;130(Pt 7):1787-98.
Goris A, Williams-Gray CH, Clark GR, Foltynie T, Lewis SJ, Brown J, Ban M, Spillantini MG, Compston A, Burn DJ, Chinnery PF, Barker RA, Sawcer SJ. Tau and alpha-synuclein in susceptibility to, and dementia in, Parkinson’s disease. Annals of neurology. 2007 Aug;62(2):145-53.