Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Dr Sarosh Irani


Research: laboratory and clinical interests

I am a consultant neurologist and clinician-scientist with clinical and laboratory experiences in the field of autoantibody mediated diseases of the nervous system, in particular the central nervous system. I care for patients with these neuroimmunological disorders and run a research group to learn more about the diseases.

During my DPhil, I studied the antigenic targets of autoantibodies in patients with encephalitis and epilepsies. In particular, my research has focused on LGI1, CASPR2 and the NMDA-receptor. In addition, I have been involved with projects examining autoantibodies against the GABA-receptor, glycine receptors and aquaporin-4.

Along with colleagues, I have looked after and visited multiple patients with these disorders, phenotyped these patients in great detail, and characterised their clinical responses to therapies. These findings have generated clinical features which correlate well with a high likelihood of an immunotherapy-responsive condition. They have also identified novel clinical descriptions of patients with cognitive, movement and seizure disorders. Of particular note, we have described faciobrachial dystonic seizures as a novel autoimmune epilepsy syndrome which often responds better to immunotherapies than conventional anti-epileptic drugs.

I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in 2014, and have recently grown my research group to five members. We are currently exploring new autoantibody targets, laboratory methods to study novel therapeutic agents which target autoantibody production, and mechanisms of immunological tolerance in these patients.


I am currently supervising a DPhil student and two medical students in Oxford. I have previously supervised medical students in clinical and laboratory projects, and continue to enjoy bedside teaching and lecturing.

Major publications

Original papers

Faciobrachial dystonic seizures: the influence of immunotherapy on seizure control and prevention of cognitive impairment in a broadening phenotype.
Irani SR. et al, (2013), Brain, 136, 3151 - 3162
Effect of rituximab in patients with leucine-rich, glioma-inactivated 1 antibody-associated encephalopathy. 
Irani SR. et al, (2014), Jama Neurol, 71, 896 - 900
Morvan syndrome: clinical and serological observations in 29 cases.
Irani SR. et al, (2012), Ann Neurol, 72, 241 – 255
Faciobrachial dystonic seizures precede Lgi1 antibody limbic encephalitis.
Irani SR. et al, (2011), Ann Neurol, 69, 892 – 900
Antibodies to Kv1 potassium channel-complex proteins leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 protein and contactin-associated protein-2 in limbic encephalitis, Morvan's syndrome and acquired neuromyotonia.
Irani SR. et al, (2010), Brain, 133, 2734 - 2748
N-methyl-D-aspartate antibody encephalitis: temporal progression of clinical and paraclinical observations in a predominantly non-paraneoplastic disorder of both sexes.
Irani SR. et al, (2010), Brain, 133, 1655 - 1667


Clinical and experimental studies of potentially pathogenic brain-directed autoantibodies: current knowledge and future directions. 
Varley J. et al, (2015), J Neurol, 262, 1081 – 1095
Cell-surface central nervous system autoantibodies: clinical relevance and emerging paradigms.
Irani SR. et al, (2014), Ann Neurol, 76, 168 – 184
Autoantibodies associated with diseases of the CNS: new developments and future challenges. 
Vincent A. et al, (2011), Lancet Neurol, 10, 759 – 772
NMDA receptor antibody encephalitis.
Irani SR. and Vincent A., (2011), Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep, 11, 298 - 304

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