Dr Varatharaj studies the interaction between infection and the brain, and in particular how this affects people with multiple sclerosis. He is the Chief Investigator of the MRC-funded SIBIMS study. He uses advanced neuroimaging techniques and has set up dynamic-contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in Southampton for the measurement of blood-brain barrier health. Disturbance of the blood-brain barrier may explain why infections outside the brain can affect the function of the brain and mind.
He was also a founder of the CoroNerve Studies Group, the first nationwide surveillance programme for neurological complications of COVID-19. This work was widely featured across national and
international news outlets including BBC, Reuters, CNN, and Nature
News. Dr Varatharaj has given expert opinion for ITV News, The Guardian, The Financial Times, and New Scientist.
- Module Lead for Nervous System in BM5 Year 2.
- Personal academic tutor.
- OSCE examiner for Finals.
- Written paper marker and moderator.
- Peer reviewer and project marker for BMedSci.
- Regular clinical teacher in Year 4.
- Volunteer tutor for the Access Project.
External roles and responsibilities
Dr Varatharaj studied medicine at Oxford and has trained in Montreal, Liverpool, and London. He came to Southampton in 2014.
- PhD Clinical Neurosciences, University of Southampton, 2021.
- MRCP Neurology, Royal College of Physicians, 2018.
- PGCE Medical Education, University of Dundee, 2014.
- BMBCh, University of Oxford, 2010.
- BA(Hons) Medical Sciences, University of Oxford, 2007.