We are delighted to welcome John Wilson to the Encephalitis Society family.

John is the first student to be chosen for our new PhD Fellowship – an exciting ongoing project which is being funded by ourselves and the University of Liverpool, as part of its larger DexEnceph project.

The aim is to fund research into different areas of encephalitis as well as encourage the next generation of specialists into the brain condition.

In particular, we are concerned with the dearth of research and literature in recovery and rehabilitation which is why we have made this our focus for the foreseeable future.

Dr Ava Easton, our Chief Executive, said:

Little did we realise the standard of applications that would come in when we invited academic institutions to host our PhD Fellowship. It was a tough choice but in the end we were intrigued by Liverpool’s project which we believe could have a huge benefit for survivors of encephalitis in the future.

John said:

I’m very much looking forward to working with the Encephalitis Society and beginning the PhD project which will determine whether corticosteroids improve neuropsychological outcomes in people affected by Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis.

If it is successful, it is hoped that it will be incorporated into future updates of national guidelines for the treatment of encephalitis.

Prior to beginning his PhD, John worked as a Research Assistant at the Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and as an Assistant Psychologist at the University of Nottingham where he investigated cognitive rehabilitation of attention and memory in Multiple Sclerosis.

John added:

My interest in neuropsychology began during my time as an Assistant Psychologist with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, working with patients and their families following acquired brain injury, multiple trauma and acute neurological illness.

My research interests have focused on mindfulness, emotion regulation and cognitive functioning in older adults and those affected by cognitive impairment.

For more information about the DexEnceph project, visit www.dexenceph.org.uk