Alastair Compston

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Alastair Compston

Professor Alastair Compston CBE FMedSci FRS.jpg
Alastair Compston at the Royal Society admissions day in London for new fellows in 2016
Born (1948-01-23) 23 January 1948 (age 73)
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisMultiple sclerosis and the HLA system (1978)

David Alastair Standish Compston CBE FRS FMedSci FRCP[1] (born 23 January 1948[2]) is Emeritus professor of Neurology in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge and an Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.[3][4]


Compston was educated at Rugby School followed by Middlesex Hospital Medical school where he was awarded a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree.[when?] He completed his PhD on multiple sclerosis and the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system at the University of London graduating in 1978.[5]

Research and career[edit]

Compston's research focuses on the clinical science of human demyelinating disease including the discovery of genetic risk factors for multiple sclerosis and the introduction of alemtuzumab.[6][7][8] [9]

Compston was formerly Professor of Neurology at the University of Wales, president of the European Neurological Society and the Association of British Neurologists, and editor of the journal Brain.[1][10]

Awards and honours[edit]

Compston's work has been recognised by prizes including the Charcot Award; the K-J Zülch Prize; the World Federation of Neurology Medal; the John Dystel Prize; the Richard and Mary Cave Award of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain; the Hughlings Jackson Medal; the Galen Medal; and the Association of British Neurologists Medal.[1]

Compston was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2016[1] and appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours.[11] He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences;[when?] a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences of Germany[when?] and the National Academy of Medicine of the US.[when?]


  1. ^ a b c d Anon (2016). "Professor Alastair Compston FRS". London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

  2. ^ "COMPSTON, Prof. (David) Alastair (Standish)". Who's Who. 2016 (online Oxford University Press ed.). A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required) (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Professor Alastair Compston, Cambridge Neurosciene". Cambridge: University of Cambridge. Archived from the original on 4 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Prof Alastair Compston, CBE Authorised Biography". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016.
  5. ^ Compston, David Alistair Standish (1978). Multiple sclerosis and the HLA system (PhD thesis). University of London. OCLC 500408475.
  6. ^ Jones, Joanne L.; Phuah, Chia-Ling; Cox, Amanda L.; Thompson, Sara A.; Ban, Maria; Shawcross, Jacqueline; Walton, Amie; Sawcer, Stephen J.; Compston, Alastair; Coles, Alasdair J. (2009). "IL-21 drives secondary autoimmunity in patients with multiple sclerosis, following therapeutic lymphocyte depletion with alemtuzumab (Campath-1H)". Journal of Clinical Investigation. 119 (7): 2052–61. doi:10.1172/JCI37878. PMC 2701868. PMID 19546505.
  7. ^ The CAMMS223 Trial Investigators (2008). "Alemtuzumab vs. Interferon Beta-1a in Early Multiple Sclerosis". New England Journal of Medicine. 359 (17): 1786–1801. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0802670. PMID 18946064.
  8. ^ The International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (2007). "Risk Alleles for Multiple Sclerosis Identified by a Genomewide Study". New England Journal of Medicine. 357 (9): 851–862. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa073493. PMID 17660530.
  9. ^ Alastair Compston's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  10. ^ Compston, Alastair (2004). "Editorial". Brain. 127 (8): 1689–1690. doi:10.1093/brain/awh240.
  11. ^ "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N8.