Sheffield Institute for
Translational Neuroscience

Dr James Alix BSc(Hons), MBChB, MRCP, PhD

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Neurophysiology,

University of Sheffield

Honorary Consultant Clinical Neurophysiologist,

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


Research Interests

My main research focus is on the development of new techniques to diagnose and monitor neuromuscular disorders. I use a variety of electrophysiological techniques in both pre-clinical and clinical settings in order to better understand how these diseases start and change over time.     

Current Projects

  • Use of the motor unit number index (MUNIX) and the motor unit size index (MUSIX) to monitor disease progression in motor neurone disease
  • Use of different types of spectroscopy to monitor neuromuscular disease
  • Phenotyping preclinical models of MND

Funding

My work is or has been supported by the following:

  • Medical Research Council
  • Academy of Medical Sciences
  • Motor Neurone Disease Association
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
  • Ryder Briggs Neuroscience Research Fund
  • Neurocare
  

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Research Team

PhD students

  • Maria Plesia (Primary supervisor)
  • Chloe Schooling (Primary supervisor)
  • Dr Nick Verber (co-supervisor; Primary supervisor Prof. Dame Pamela Shaw)
  • Scott McKinnon (co-supervisor; Primary supervisor Dr Richard Mead)

 Research technician:

  • Sophie Badger/staff PhD candidate:

Intercalated BSc student

  • Rebecca Stirling

Publications

Selected Publications

Schooling CN, Healey TJ, McDonough HM, French SJ, McDermott CJ, Shaw PJ, Kadirkamanathan V, Alix JJ. Modelling and Analysis of Electrical Impedance Myography of the Lateral Tongue. In press, Physiol. Meas.

Watkins J, Ghosh A, Keerie AFA, Alix JJ, Mead RJ, Sreedharan J. Female sex mitigates motor and behavioural phenotypes in TDP-43Q331K knock-in mice. In press, Sci Reports.

Sassani M, Alix JJ, McDermott CJ, Baster K, Hoggard N, Wild JM, Mortiboys HF, Shaw PJ, Wilkinson ID, Jenkins TM. Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals mitochondrial dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In press, Brain

Alix JJ, McDonough HE, Sonbas B, French SJ, Rao DG, Kadirkamanathan V, McDermott CJ, Healey TJ, Shaw PJ. Multi-dimensional electrical impedance myography of the tongue as a potential biomarker for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Clin Neurophysiol, in press.

Jenkins TM, Alix JJ, Fingret J, Esmail T, Hoggard N, Baster K, McDermott CJ, Wilkinson ID, Shaw PJ. Longitudinal multi-modal muscle-based biomarker assessment in motor neuron disease. J Neurol, in press.

Verber NS, Shepheard SR, Sassani M, McDonough HE, Moore SA, Alix JJ, Wilkinson ID, Jenkins TM, Shaw PJ (2019). Biomarkers in Motor Neuron Disease: a state-of-the-art review. Front Neurol; 10:291.

Alix JJ*, Neuwirth C*, Gelder L, Burkhardt C, Castro J, de Carvalho M, Gawel M, Goedee S, Grosskreutz J, Lenglet T, Moglia C, Omer T, Schrooten M, Nandedkar S, Stalberg E, Barkhaus PE, Furtula J, van Dijk JP, Baldinger R, Costa J, Otto M, Sandberg A, Weber M. Assessment of the reliability of the motor unit size index (MUSIX) in single subject “round-robin” and multi-centre settings (2019). Clin Neurophysiol; 130(5): 666-674.

Alix JJ, Kandler RH, Pang C, Stavroulakis T, Catania S (2019). Comparing the effectiveness of sleep deprivation and melatonin for inducing sleep in paediatric EEG. Dev Med Child Neurol; 61(2): 181-185.

Jenkins TM, Alix JJ, Rao DG, Hoggard N, Bradburn M, Bigley J, McDermott CJ, Wilkinson ID, Shaw PJ (2018). Imaging muscle as a potential biomarker of denervation in motor neuron disease. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry; 89(3): 248-255.

Carlson S, Kandler RH, Moorhouse D, Ponnusamy A, Mordekar SR, Alix JJ (2018). Home video telemetry in children: a comparison to inpatient video telemetry. Seizure; 61: 209-213.

Neuwirth C, Burkhardt C, Alix JJ, Castro J, de Carvalho M, Gawel M, Goedee S, Grosskreutz J, Lenglet T, Moglia C, Omer T, Schrooten M, Weber M (2016). Quality control of motor unit number index (MUNIX) measurements in 6 muscles in a single subject “round robin” setup. PLOS One, 11(5): e0153948.

Professional Activities

  • Module Leader, Applied Neuroanatomy & Clinical Neuroscience module, MSc Neurology course, University of Sheffield.

  • Deputy Director of Studies for Phase 3a, MBChB course, University of Sheffield. 

  • Ad hoc peer review for journals, including Muscle and Nerve and the European Journal of Neurology.

  • Grant reviewer for Medical Research Council, NIHR, Health Research Board (Ireland), MND Scotland.

Biography

2018 – Present

Senior Clinical Lecturer in Neurophysiology, University of Sheffield

Honorary Consultant Clinical Neurophysiologist, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

2015 – 2018:

NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Neurophysiology, University of Sheffield

2012 – 2014:

Specialty Registrar in Clinical Neurophysiology, Yorkshire and the Humber Deanery

2010 – 2012:

NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Core Medical Training/Neurology, University of Sheffield

2008 – 2010:

Academic Foundation Programme, Imperial College, London

2000 – 2008:

MB/PhD programme, University of Leicester Medical School

 

I studied medicine at Leicester Medical School, undertaking an intercalated BSc in neuroscience (1st class Hons). I then entered the MB/PhD programme, completing a PhD on the molecular mechanisms of perinatal white matter injury. After graduating I completed academic foundation programme training in London before coming to Sheffield to take up an NIHR academic clinical fellowship in neurology. I subsequently moved into clinical neurophysiology and completed the final part of my training as an NIHR clinical lecturer.

Awards

  • Lord Adrian Prize, British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology, 2017
  • British Society for Clinical Neurophysiology Intercalation Bursary to my student H. McDonough, 2017
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship, University of Sheffield, 2015
  • NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship, University of Sheffield, 2010
  • Distinction, Final Professional Examination, University of Leicester, 2008
  • Wellcome Trust Elective Prize, 2008
  • Physiology Society Studentship, 2005
  • Leicester Medical Research Foundation (Medisearch) Studentship, 2004
  • Charles Lawson Award for Intercalated Studies, University of Leicester, 2004

 My students have been awarded the following:

Mr Young Chan (Intercalating BMedSci 2019-20)

  • BSCN Intercalation Bursary.

Mr H McDonough (Intercalating BMedSci, 2017-18)

  • Clinical Research Poster Prize, 29th International Symposium on ALS/MND, Glasgow, December 2018.
  • 1st prize, ABN Medical Student Meeting, Manchester, October 2018.
  • BSCN Intercalation Bursary.

Dr N Kyrtata (MSc student 2017)

  •  2nd prize Doctors Academy Conference, Manchester, August 2018.

Teaching Interests

I am module leader for the Applied Neuroanatomy & Clinical Neuroscience module on the MSc Neurology course. I am also the Deputy Director of Studies for Phase 3a of the medical degree.

I regularly give neurophysiology lectures and demonstrations to medical and postgraduate students. I also provide research supervision to PhD students, intercalating medical students, MSc students and supervise students on SSC attachments. I am also a personal and academic (PATS) tutor for medical students.

I am particularly keen to encourage medical students to undertake research during their time at medical school and welcome any enquiries regarding potential projects. 

Contact

Department of Neuroscience
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience
University of Sheffield
Room B35
385a Glossop Road
Sheffield
S10 2HQ

Tel: +44 (0)114 21 59100/2234
Email: j.alix@sheffield.ac.uk