Professor of Molecular Neuroscience & Research Director of ILS
Medicine
Telephone: (01792) 602203
Room: Academic Office - 304
Third Floor
Institute of Life Science 1
Singleton Campus

Professor Mark Rees is Head of Neurology Research at the Institute of Life Science, Swansea University Medical School. His research interests focus on the underlying causes of neurological disorders including the epilepsies, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, sudden death syndromes and data-linkage studies.  He gained his PhD at the Department of Molecular Haematology, University of Wales College of Medicine (1989-1993) and worked with Sir Mike Owen in Neuropsychiatric Medicine, Cardiff University as a MRC-sponsored Postdoctoral Fellow (1994-1999). In 1999, Professor Rees began a six-year academic post at the University of Auckland Medical School, New Zealand as a Senior Lecturer in Neurology & Cardiac Genetics.

He joined Swansea University in 2004 as a Professor of Genomics / Neuroscience and established the Wales Epilepsy Research Network (WERN 2005-2015). Professor Rees was Chair of the Epilepsy Research-UK (ERUK) Scientific Advisory Committee in London between 2011-2014 and is now a Trustee of ERUK. He is a Fellow of the Learned Society for Wales (FLSW), the Royal College of Pathologists (FRCPath), the Royal College of Physicians (FRCPE), and the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB). He received a DSc from Swansea University in 2012 and is also Honorary Fellow of the Association of British Neurologists. Professor Rees’s team were winners of the 2015 Swansea University Impact Awards in Health & Wellbeing.

In addition to running a large ILS-1-based neurology / genomics research group, Professor Rees is Chair of the Swansea University Collaborative Partnerships Board and Impact Lead for the Wales Gene Park. He is a Senior Leader for Health & Care Research Wales and the Swansea lead for the HCRW BRAIN Unit and Swansea University Biobanks Committee. He has published over 110 peer-reviewed publications and has attracted over £21m of research investments from Wales, UK and international sources over the past 20 years.

Areas of Expertise

  • Human Molecular Genetics & Genomics
  • Molecular Neuroscience
  • Clinical and Biomedical Networks
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Regional Biobanking
  • SAIL Data-Linkage

Publications

  1. & Expanding the phenotype of TRAK1 mutations: hyperekplexia and refractory status epilepticus. BRAIN
  2. et. al. The phenotype of bilateral hippocampal sclerosis and its management in “real life” clinical settings. Epilepsia
  3. & Reply: ATAD1 encephalopathy and stiff baby syndrome: a recognizable clinical presentation. BRAIN 141(6), e50-e50.
  4. & Educational attainment of children born to mothers with epilepsy. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 89(7), 736-740.
  5. et. al. De novo mutations in GRIN1 cause extensive bilateral polymicrogyria. BRAIN 141(3), 698-712.

See more...

Teaching

  • PMGM16 Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Disease

    This module will provide an introduction to the clinical presentation and manifestations of rare inherited and common diseases, and considers the patient and family perspective with respect to the role and impact of genomics. It reviews traditional and current strategies and techniques used to identify genes responsible for both common multifactorial and rare inherited diseases.

Supervision

  • Using novel data types for epilepsy research using big data, free texts and genetic analysis. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Xianghua Xie
    Other supervisor: Dr Seo-Kyung Chung
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Prof Marc Clement
  • The importance of cortical lesions in multiple sclerosis. (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • Biobanking neurological conditions in Wales for Genetic Research (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Seo-Kyung Chung
    Other supervisor: Dr Jonathan Mullins
  • Characterisation of genetic variants and their role in neurological disorders (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Jonathan Mullins
    Other supervisor: Dr Seo-Kyung Chung
  • THE INNATE IMMUNE RESPONSE OF CORTICAL PATHOLOGY IN PROGRESSIVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • Activation and Regulation of complement in Multiple Sclerosis (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • How effective is the Further Education/Higher Education (FE/HE) skills supply pipeline in South West Wales to support an evolving Life Science sector? (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Marc Clement
  • 'Cortical grey matter demyelination and meningeal inflammation in a cohort of short duration Multiple Sclerosis.' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell

External Responsibilities

  • Biobanking Wales Task Group for HCRW, HCRW, Cardiff

    2017 - Present

  • Research Impact Lead for the Wales Gene Park, Cardiff., Wales Gene Park, Cardiff.

    2017 - Present

  • Fellow of the Learned Society for Wales, Cardiff., Learned Society for Wales, Cardiff.

    2016 - Present

  • Academy of Medical Sciences SpringBoard Champion for Swansea Uni, Medical School, Swansea University

    2015 - Present

  • Executive Member of the Wales Gene Park, Cardiff., Wales Gene Park, Cardiff.

    2015 - Present

  • Executive Member of the HCRW BRAIN Unit, Cardiff., BRAIN Unit, Cardiff.

    2015 - Present

  • Core Group Member of the NIH Epi4K Epilepsy Genomic Consortium., Epi4K Epilepsy Genomic Consortium.

    2014 - Present

  • Trustee for the Epilepsy Research UK Trustees Board, London., UK Trustees Board, London.

    2014 - Present

  • Senior Leader for HCRW Faculty, Cardiff., HCRW Faculty, Cardiff.

    2013 - Present

  • Honorary Professor to the Centre for Brain Research, University of Auckland.

    2013 - Present

  • Honorary Member of the Association of British Neurologists (ABN), Association of British Neurologists (ABN)

    2009 - Present

  • Chair of Epilepsy Research UK Scientific Advisory Board, London., UK Scientific Advisory Board, London.

    2011 - 2014

  • External Examiner for UCL Masters in Clinical Neuroscience, Lond, UCL, London

    2010 - 2014

  • Founder and Director of the Wales Epilepsy Research Network. , Wales Epilepsy Research Network.

    2005 - 2015

  • Strategic Director of the Wales Gene Park., Wales Gene Park, Cardiff.

    2007 - 2011

Research Groups

  • The Neurology Research Group

    The Neurology Research Group

  • Swansea Neurology Biobank

    Swansea Neurology Biobank

  • Swansea University Biobank

    Swansea University Biobank

  • Neurology SAIL Group

    Neurology SAIL Group

  • HCRW BRAIN Unit WorkPackage

    HCRW BRAIN Unit WorkPackage

  • HCRW Wales Gene Park WorkPackage

    HCRW Wales Gene Park WorkPackage

  • SU Collaborative Partnerships Data Projects

    SU Collaborative Partnerships Data Projects

Administrative Responsibilities

  • ARCH Neurology Regional Services Re-configuration Committee.

    2017 - Present

  • Member of the Swansea University Postgraduate Committee.

    2016 - Present

  • Chair/Dean, Swansea University Collaborative Partnerships Board

    2015 - Present

  • Member of the University Academic Quality and Standard Committee

    2015 - Present

  • Member of the ABMUH Joint Clinical Research Facility Executive.

    2015 - Present

  • Chair of the SU/ABMUH Biobanks Sub-Committee.

    2015 - Present

  • SUMS Executive Committee.

    2006 - 2013

  • Director of the Institute of Life Science, Swansea University.

    2006 - 2013