Professional background

Professor Martin Koltzenburg is a neurologist and the head of the department of clinical neurophysiology at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square.

He studied medicine at the University of Kiel, Germany and UCL during this time he earned a doctorate with research into the neurophysiological mechanisms of pain. This was followed by postdoctoral research and clinical specialist training at the department of physiology of the University of Erlangen, the department of neurology of the University of Würzburg, Germany and the department of clinical neurophysiology of the University of Uppsala, Sweden.

His work won him several prizes including the research prize of the International Association for the Study of Pain, and the Patrick Wall medal of the British Pain Society.

He is regularly lecturing internationally and was the Bjorn Lind Lecturer at the Nobel Forum, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, the Traveling Speaker of the Canadian Pain Consortium and the Michael Cousins Foundation Visitor’s Lecturer of the  Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists.

Research interests

Martin shares his time between the clinic and research laboratory. His clinical work focuses on neurophysiological techniques in the assessments of neuromuscular disorders including neuropathic pain and translational methods in drug discovery.

His basic science team investigates the properties of sensory neurons on a cellular and system level, particularly the mechanisms of neurodegeneration leading to peripheral neuropathy the changes that lead to chronic pain.


He has published over 100 peer reviewed original articles in clinical and basic science. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Pain, Nature Reviews in Neurology and Faculty 1000 Medicine and has edited several books including Wall and Melzack’s Textbook of Pain, the standard text of the field.

Selected publications:
M. Bendszus, M. Koltzenburg, R. Burger, E. Hofman, L. Solymosi, Silent embolism in diagnostic cerebral angiography and neurointerventional procedures: a prospective study, Lancet, 354 (1999), 1594-1597.

M.J. Caterina, A. Leffler, A.B. Malmberg, W.F. Martin, J. Trafton, K. Petersen-Zeitz, M. Koltzenburg, A.I. Basbaum, D. Julius, Impaired nociception and pain perception in mice lacking the capsaicin receptor, Science, 288 (2000) 306-313. (cover story)

M. Bendszus, M. Koltzenburg, Gadolinium enhancement of denervated muscle as a new diagnostic tool for the diagnosis of peripheral nerve lesions, Neurology, 57 (2001) 1709-1711.
J.O. Dostrovsky, D.B. Carr, M. Koltzenburg. Proceedings of the 10th World Congress on Pain, Seattle: IASP Press (2003) 1-937.

S.P.  Hunt, M. Koltzenburg. Neurobiology of Pain, Oxford: Oxford University Press (2005) 1-403.

S.B. McMahon, M. Koltzenburg. Wall and Melzack’s Textbook of Pain, Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone (2005) 1-1239, currently 6th edition

M. Koltzenburg, R. Pokorny, U.E. Gasser, U. Richarz, Differential sensitivity of three experimental pain models in detecting the analgesic effects of transdermal fentanyl and buprenorphine, Pain, 126 (2006) 165-174.

M. Koltzenburg, T. Yousry, Magnetic resonance imaging of skeletal muscle. Current Opinion in Neurology 20 (2007) 595-599

S.V. Tan, E. Matthews, M. Barber, J.A.Burge, S. Rajakulendran, D. Fialho, M. Koltzenburg, M.G. Hanna. Refined exercise testing can aid DNA-based diagnosis in muscle channelopathies, Annals of Neurology, 69 (2011) 328-340

P.W. Mantyh, M. Koltzenburg, L.M. Mendell, L. Tive, D.L. Shelton, Antagonism of nerve growth factor-trkA signaling and the relief of pain. Anesthesiology, 115 (2011) 189-201.

K. Maurer, H. Bostock, M. Koltzenburg, Protons regulate the excitability properties of rat myelinated sensory axons in vitro through block of persistent sodium currents. Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System, 17 (2012) 102-111.