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David Chadwick, trained in neurology at Kings College Hospital and Newcastle after qualifying from the University of Oxford in 1971. He was appointed Consultant Neurologist to the Mersey Regional Health Authority in 1979 and became the first Professor of Neurology of the University of Liverpool in 1993, continuing his clinical work as an honorary NHS consultant at the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

He has a wide experience of general neurology and a particular interest in epilepsy. He developed, with colleagues in Liverpool, a comprehensive epilepsy service, from diagnosis to surgical treatment, that has been nationally recognised.

His epilepsy research is internationally recognised. He led the design and conduct of the three largest randomised controlled trials in epilepsy examining the withdrawal of antiepileptic drugs in patients in remission of their epilepsy, the impact of immediate versus delayed treatment in early epilepsy (both Medical Research Council sponsored studies), and a study comparing outcomes treatment with new and standard antiepileptic drugs (SANAD, a Health Technology Assessment Programme sponsored study). He has published widely with over 150 peer-reviewed papers. His expertise in clinical epidemiology was recognised in membership of teaching faculty for the American Academy of Neurology, Clinical Research Course. He has lectured extensively, world-wide.

He has held the posts of Deputy Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Science of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Liverpool. He has been President of the Association of British Neurologists.

In 2003 he became a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Science. In 2004 he was awarded an OBE for services to road safety, consequent on his Chairmanship of the Honorary Advisory Panel on Driving and Disorders of the Nervous System to the Secretary of State for Transport. He has contributed to many other national committees and has been a member of NICE Technology appraisal panels.

He retired from his academic appointment in 2006, but continued NHS practice until July 2008. He has remained on the specialist register and has undergone yearly appraisal. He holds emeritus appointments as Professor to the University of Liverpool and Consultant to the Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery Foundation NHS Trust and Professor of Neurology and Consultant Neurologist.