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UK DRI hosts Health Minister Andrew Stephenson MP

On Wednesday 29 November, we were delighted to welcome the Minister for Health and Secondary Care, Andrew Stephenson CBE MP, to visit the UK DRI Centre for Care Research and Technology, based at Imperial College London (White City Campus). The visit was hosted by Prof Siddharthan Chandran (UK DRI Director), Prof David Sharp (UK DRI Centre Director, Care Research & Technology), Prof Paul Freemont (UK DRI Group Leader, CR&T) and Prof Deborah Ashby (Interim Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London).

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Translation Showcase: breakthroughs to benefits

This month, we invited industry partners and stakeholders to an exciting Translation Showcase event at the Science Gallery in London. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from our Group Leaders about how they are translating their fundamental, discovery research into treatments and technologies for people affected by neurodegenerative diseases.

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Congratulations to Prof Paul Matthews on his new appointment as Director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute

Prof Paul Matthews will be stepping down as Centre Director of the UK DRI at Imperial on 7 April 2024. As founding Director of the UK DRI at Imperial, Prof Matthews led a multidisciplinary team of 120+ researchers, focused on unravelling the mechanisms underpinning dementia and developing innovative treatments to correct these detrimental changes in the brain.

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Dr Adrian Ivinson steps down as COO of the UK DRI

After six years as Chief Operating Officer of the UK DRI, Dr Adrian Ivinson is stepping down. Dr Ivinson has led the operations of the institute since it was established in 2017, overseeing day-to-day operations including compliance, communications, estates, research platforms, finances, tech transfer, partnerships and the central team.

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Comment: New Clinical Trials Delivery Accelerator focused on dementia

In today’s Autumn Statement, the Government announced a new Clinical Trials Delivery Accelerator (CTDA) focused on dementia. UK DRI Director Prof Siddharthan Chandran responds to the news.

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Why LGBTQ+ representation & visibility matters: in conversation with Aeverie Heuchan and Tua Piehl

LGBTQ+ STEM Day takes place on 18 November: a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements of LGBTQ+ people working in science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as acknowledging the barriers they face, and the importance of improving visibility and representation. Ahead of this year’s LGBTQ+ STEM Day, we spoke to Aeverie Heuchan (UK DRI at Cardiff) and Tua Piehl (UK DRI HQ) who have been instrumental in establishing the UK DRI’s Pride Network.

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Partnering with the British Heart Foundation to establish a Centre for Vascular Dementia Research

We are delighted to announce a new partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), to establish the UK’s first research Centre dedicated to finding new treatments to prevent, halt and ultimately find cures for vascular dementia.

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Seven UK DRI researchers feature on Highly Cited Researcher 2023 list

We are proud to announce that seven UK DRI researchers have featured in this year’s Highly Cited Researcher 2023 list from Clarivate. The annual ranking identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

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Multi-million pound boost for research projects aimed at developing new tests, treatments and devices for neurodegenerative diseases

We are delighted that the first projects to be funded through LifeArc’s £30 million strategic partnership with the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) have been announced today. A total of £14.5 million has been allocated to support seven innovative projects seeking to develop new tests, treatments and medical devices for the more than one million people in the UK living with neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, motor neuron disease, fronto-temporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

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Innovative research targets cellular powerhouses for Parkinson's treatment

A groundbreaking study spearheaded by Prof Gabriel Balmus at the UK DRI at Cambridge, in collaboration with Prof David K. Simon from Harvard Medical School and biotech innovator Mission Therapeutics, has provided new insights into Parkinson’s disease and the potential to develop targeted treatments. The study's findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Support on the path to independence: four new researchers join the UK DRI Emerging Leader Programme

We are delighted to announce four new Emerging Leaders at the Institute: Dr Sophie Morse and Dr Johanna Jackson (both UK DRI at Imperial); Dr Emma Clayton (UK DRI at King’s) and Dr Phil Weston (UK DRI at UCL).

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New strategic partnership with SPARC to accelerate delivery of new treatments for dementia

We are delighted to announce a new strategic industry partnership with pharmaceutical company SPARC, alongside the funding of a new project. Developing effective therapeutics, diagnostics and technologies for people affected by dementia is a clearly defined vision of the UK DRI.

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UK DRI projects take next step with translational funding awarded

Having established a foundation of outstanding discovery science in its first five years, the UK DRI is set to capitalise on new insights into the causes and drivers of neurodegenerative disease with a programme of funding awards targeted at the translation of knowledge into urgently-needed treatments, technologies and diagnostics for dementia.

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Immune response to viral infection may accelerate Alzheimer’s progression

A new study by Prof Will McEwan and Dr Sophie Sanford (UK DRI at Cambridge) has revealed that type-I interferons, a part of the innate immune response, may increase the build up of misfolded toxic tau protein in Alzheimer’s, and could provide a new avenue for disease therapeutics. The study is published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

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Friends of CR&T: A new network to shape dementia research

The UK DRI exists to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. By involving people who have lived experience in our research, we can ensure new treatments and technologies meet the needs of those affected. Whilst the UK DRI has always engaged people with lived experience in its research, a new initiative at the UK DRI Care Research & Technology Centre aims to take this one step further.

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Connectome 2023: In photos

Returning to Brighton for a second year, our annual conference Connectome took place earlier this month. More than 600 UK DRI researchers from our seven centres across the UK gathered together for an event packed full of exciting talks, poster sessions, and networking opportunities.

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New non-invasive form of deep brain stimulation could provide alternative treatment for brain diseases

In a study led by Dr Nir Grossman (UK DRI at Imperial), scientists have developed a new form of deep brain stimulation that does not require surgery and could provide an alternative treatment option for brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

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Little-known gene may play a key role in the development of Parkinson’s

In an exciting new project, Dr Kat Bowles (UK DRI at Edinburgh) will investigate the workings of a little-known gene which may play a role in the development of Parkinson’s. This work could deliver new targets for Parkinson’s treatments.

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AstronauTx raises £48m in ‘Series A’ financing to create new treatments for Alzheimer’s

AstronauTx, a biotech company founded by a group including UK DRI researchers, aiming to develop novel treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, today announced the completion of a £48 million ($61 million) Series A financing.

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Recipients of annual UK DRI Recognition Prizes announced at Connectome 2023

Connectome 2023 saw the return of the recognition prizes, introduced last year on the UK DRI’s 5th anniversary, to recognise the efforts and achievements of staff across the Institute over the past year. The prizes were awarded by UK DRI Director Prof Siddharthan Chandran in the closing remarks of the conference, highlighting those individuals excelling in the categories of computational reproducibility, 3R’s, imaging, posters and engagement.

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