Professor Peter GoadsbyMD PhD FRS FRACP FRCP is an Australian neuroscientist who is Director of the National Institute for Health Research - Wellcome Trust King’s Clinical Research Facility and Professor of Neurology at King's College London.His research has focused particularly on the mechanism and alleviation of migraine and cluster headaches.
Goadsby was born in Australia in 1950. He attended a secondary school that did not have high academic ambitions for the pupils. This made him determined to follow an academic course. He was interested in politics from a young age, and was planning to study economics at university. However, after an argument with his mother, a mathematics teacher, he applied to study medicine, and was accepted by University of New South Wales. As an undergraduate he met James W. Lance and became interested in the area of experimental science applied to neurology, especially migraine.
Goadsby's research has focused on headaches, trying to understand their mechanisms and how to provide better treatments. His work has especially addressed the causes of migraine and cluster headaches. His research led him to hypothesise that migraine might not be a vascular disease, as was then accepted, or psychosomatic and caused by stress. Instead, he and colleagues developed evidence that it had a nerve-based mechanism that resulted in the pain and other symptoms.
Their work in the 1980s led to the discovery of the mechanism that starts a migraine, involved the calcitonin gene-related peptide, CGRP, a peptide involved in neuronal communication. This provided a new target for drugs, namely those that could interfere with the interaction of CGRP and its receptor. As a result, the gepants such as atogepant have been developed and introduced to clinical use. He was also part of a group that in a clinical trial over six months showed, for the first time, that a monoclonal antibody could significantly reduce frequency and effects of migraine. Several have been introduced into clinical use for those with chronic migraine. Erenumab was approved for use in the USA (in 2018), Scotland from 2019, England (from 2021), and other countries.
Goadsby was Professor of Neurology, at University of California, San Francisco, 2007-2013. He is also an Honorary Consultant Neurologist at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, UK and Professor of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles.
In March 2021 Goadsby and his collaborators Lars Edvinsson, Michael Moskowitz and Jes Olesen were awarded the Brain Prize 2021 for their work on the causes and treatment of migraine. The prize is 10 million Danish kroner. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2022.
He is a strong support of Prof Tissa Wijeratne, Founder,AIM for well over a decade with annual Lance-Goadsby Symspoium ( fifth year in 2022) and many other academic activities.