High-Profile MS Neurologist Struck by Motorcycle

Deborah Brauser

November 10, 2020

A noted UK neurologist and multiple sclerosis (MS) researcher has sustained significant injuries after being struck this weekend by a motorcycle "traveling at high speed," according to a statement released earlier today.

Dr Gavin Giovannoni

Gavin Giovannoni, MD, is professor and chair of neurology at the Blizard Institute at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom, and lead of the Neuroscience and Trauma Center there. In addition to being involved in numerous MS-focused studies, the noted expert was lead author of a recent study on the use of MS disease-modifying therapies amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement posted on the BartsMS blog reported that Giovannoni was out running on Saturday when the incident occurred. In addition to a minor head injury, he sustained "a fractured cervical spine, fractured pelvis, and several soft tissue contusions," the blog noted.

A link to the blog's post was later tweeted from Giovannoni's Twitter account. Tweets and comments offering well wishes continue to pour in in response to the news.

In a statement sent to Medscape Medical News, a representative from the Blizard Institute noted that he is currently awake and is aware of his surroundings.

"Professor Giovannoni is conscious and well in the circumstances and greatly appreciates all the well-wishes on Twitter and the blog," the statement said.

"Come Back Soon"

In addition to his research and academic responsibilities, Giovannoni has contributed to several educational videos and projects for Medscape, including moderating a recent panel discussion and slideshow on COVID-19's impact on MS patients.

Other areas of research interest have included the Epstein-Barr virus as a possible cause of MS, and MS-related neurodegeneration and biomarkers.

The Barts-MS blog statement expressed hope that Giovannoni will be able to return to work "in January 2021 or later after a period of rehabilitation."

Jaime Imitola, MD, director of MS and neuroimmunology at UConn Health, Farmington, Connecticut, was among those offering words of encouragement via social media after today's news broke. "Sorry to hear, we pray for a speedy recovery," he tweeted.


"Noooo! So sorry to hear this! Wishing you a speedy recovery – come back soon Professor G, the field needs you!" tweeted Maria Teresa Ferretti, PhD, former group leader at the University of Zurich/Zurich Neuroscience Center, Switzerland, and cofounder of the Swiss-based Women's Brain Project.


Comments to the original blog post came from patients and colleagues all over the world, including Egypt and Germany.

"What awful news! Please convey my sincerest 'get well' sentiments to Dr. G. By the sound of the accident, I suppose we should be glad that this wasn't worse news, but still… Thank you, Dr. G, for all of your contributions to the MS universe, and here's wishing you a speedy recovery…" said just one of the 74 comments.

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