Board and Directors

The UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) is governed by UK DRI Ltd (Company No. 11045257), which is established as a charitable company (Charity No. 1179589).

Board of Trustees

UK DRI is governed by a Board of Trustees, chaired by William Rucker.

The Board of Trustees meet quarterly and are responsible for the management of the institute’s activities.


Scientific Strategy and Operational board

The 'Scientific Strategy and Operational board' is responsible for managing the delivery of the UK DRI’s scientific objectives. Membership includes the UK DRI Director, UK DRI COO and UK DRI Centre Directors, who meet monthly. We bring together multidisciplinary expertise in dementia research, in programmes of work shaped and delivered through the team of directors. Our leadership work collaboratively to form the scientific strategy of the institute, and ensure it meets its ambitious goals, reporting to the UK DRI Board of Trustees chaired by William Rucker.

Our Directors
  • Prof Siddharthan Chandran - UK DRI Director

    Professor Siddharthan Chandran is Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute, and an internationally leading expert in neurodegenerative diseases. Prof Chandran is a practising neurologist and scientist working at the forefront of the emerging discipline of Regenerative Neurology, renowned for his work in motor neuron disease (MND) and MS that combines laboratory and clinical research with a particular focus on human / patient stem cells for his discovery science research. Alongside his UK DRI research, Prof Chandran is Director of the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research and the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic at the University of Edinburgh.

    Prof Siddharthan Chandran's Research Profile


  • Prof Karen Duff (UK DRI Hub at UCL)

    With over 15 years’ experience working in Alzheimer’s disease and currently Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Colombia University, we are privileged that Prof Karen Duff (Centre Director, UK DRI at UCL) will be returning to the UK in spring 2020 as Centre Director of the UK DRI’s hub in UCL. Completing a PhD in the Cambridge lab of Nobel Prize winner Sydney Brenner, Karen is now a leader in the field of neurodegenerative disease, having shared the prestigious Potamkin Prize in 2006. Her most notable work has been in the development of several transgenic research models, which have driven the field forward in its mission to find therapeutics for these devastating conditions.

    Prof Karen Duff's Research Profile

    Karen Duff

  • Prof Mina Ryten (UK DRI at Cambridge)

    Professor Mina Ryten is a clinician scientist with a long-standing interest in the use of human brain transcriptomics to understand neurological diseases. Mina began her medical training in Cambridge University and went on to complete an MBPhD at UCL. While her PhD focused on purinergic signalling in skeletal muscle development, she subsequently trained in bioinformatics through an MRC Post-doctoral Fellowship in Systems Biology. This experience led her to become a Clinical Geneticist, shaped her research interests and formed the basis of her application for an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship. Since 2017 Mina has led her own research group at the UCL Institute of Neurology, and later the UCL Institute of Child Health. In January 2024 Mina’s lab moved to Cambridge University, where she also became the Director of the Cambridge Dementia Research Institute.

    Prof Mina Ryten's Research Profile


  • Prof Julie Williams (UK DRI at Cardiff)

    Professor of Neuropsychological Genetics at Cardiff University and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Welsh Government since 2013, Prof Julie Williams (Centre Director, UK DRI at Cardiff) is a world renowned expert in the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease. Having led global studies identifying new Alzheimer’s disease risk genes, her collaborative discovery of three such genes was recognised by TIME Magazine as one of the top ten medical breakthroughs of 2009. Julie is one of four leaders of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (IGAP) and Deputy Director for the MRC Dementias Platform UK (DPUK). She was awarded a CBE in 2012 for her contribution to Alzheimer’s research.

    Prof Julie Williams' Research Profile

    Julie Williams

  • Prof David Sharp (UK DRI Care Research & Technology based at Imperial and Surrey)

    With a background in traumatic brain injury, Prof David Sharp is in an expert in the use of advanced neuroimaging to study the human brain, with a particular focus on causes of cognitive problems across the brain network. After studying medicine at the Universities of Oxford and London, he obtained his PhD from the latter in 2006. David became an NIHR Professor at Imperial College London in 2012. He brings his expertise to the UK DRI Care Research & Technology Centre at based at Imperial and Surrey, where as Centre Director, he leads a ground-breaking research programme using technology to transform diagnosis and care for people living with dementia.

    Prof David Sharp's Research Profile

    David Sharp

  • Prof Giles Hardingham (UK DRI at Edinburgh)

    As Professor of Molecular Neurobiology at the University of Edinburgh, Giles Hardingham’s research looks into signalling between neurons and glia in the brain. His aim is to characterise the interactions that maintain brain homeostasis, and how these mechanisms break down in diseases that cause dementia. Having started his career at the University of Cambridge, Professor Hardingham worked at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology before moving to Edinburgh, obtaining a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, and latterly a MRC Senior Non-Clinical Research Fellowship. Professor Hardingham is a former EMBO Young Investigator and Colworth Medal winner.

    Prof Giles Hardingham's Research Profile

    Giles Hardingham

  • Prof Paul Matthews (UK DRI at Imperial)

    Prof Paul Matthews (Centre Director, UK DRI at Imperial) is Head of the Division of Brain Sciences in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London. He was the founding director of two internationally leading research imaging centres, the University of Oxford Centre for Functional Magnetic Imaging of the Brain and later, the GlaxoSmithKline Clinical Imaging Centre. As well as extensive academic experience, Professor Matthews served as Vice President of GlaxoSmithKline Medicines Discovery and Development between 2005 and 2014, and currently leads the imaging network for DPUK. His research aims to translate advances in brain imaging into clinical applications in neuroscience, including accelerating drug development. Professor Matthews was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to neuroscience.

    Prof Paul Matthews' Research Profile

    Paul Matthews

  • Prof Jernej Ule (UK DRI at King's)

    Prof Jernej Ule has led the UK DRI at King’s as Centre Director since April 2022, and also holds the position of van Geest Professor of Neurodegeneration Research. Joining the UK DRI from a Group Leader position at the Francis Crick Institute, Prof Ule has over 20 years of experience in RNA biology research, and established his first group at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in 2006. His research is focused on a versatile molecule called ribonucleic acid (RNA), which has many roles in cells. For instance, messenger RNA carries the instructions to produce new proteins. RNA also interacts with proteins to form large complexes, and evidence suggests that changes in these interactions can lead to the characteristic toxic aggregates in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Frontotemporal dementia. In his UK DRI programme, Prof Ule’s team aims to find out why this occurs and how to stop it using new therapeutics. In addition to his lab at the Crick, which is gradually being relocated to UK DRI at King’s, Prof Ule also leads a satellite research team at the Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana, funded by the European Research Council.

    Prof Jernej Ule's Research Profile


HQ and Centre Scientific Advisory Boards

Each of our Centres have a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with prestigious members from across the globe. The SABs provide guidance and advice to our centres. We are grateful for their time and expertise.

Peer review feedback from SABs of each UK DRI Centre and from the UK DRI Institutional Advisory Boards complement our progress monitoring procedures. SABs provide annual feedback to each UK DRI Centre Director on the development and implementation of their Centre strategy and the progress of their research programmes, while the IAB will meet once a year to provide feedback to the UK DRI Directors on the strategic development of the UK DRI at national level.

UK DRI Scientific Advisory Boards