Research at the UK DRI at UCL covers the journey from the person living with dementia to the laboratory and back again - with improved diagnosis and potential therapies put to the test.
From lab bench to bedside, and back again
UCL was selected as the hub of the UK DRI in 2016 because of its strength to bring together excellent clinical and basic neuroscience research to advance our understanding of neurodegeneration and identify novel targets and therapeutic approaches for dementia. As the hub, it has a larger research programme and also is the location for the national headquarters team who connect the whole institute together.
Research at the UK DRI at UCL covers the journey from the person living with dementia to the laboratory and back again - with improved diagnosis and potential therapies put to the test. The groups believe in intervening earlier in disease in order to change the trajectory.
We need to better understand the diversity and complexity of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's disease, in order to understand the mechanisms involved, and ultimately how we can alter them to improve people's lives.
We must find treatments quicker, and that's why the UK DRI at UCL is taking a novel approach by integrating diverse expertise for efficiency, from genetics to diagnostics.
This work is enhanced by incredible clinical resources. Researchers have access to unique clinical cohorts, where comprehensive data has been collected throughout disease progression including memory assessments and brain tissue. The UK DRI at UCL provides a clinical arm to the whole of the UK DRI.
The future iconic home of the UK DRI at UCL will be alongside UCL's Queen Square Institute of Neurology in a new building on Gray's Inn Road.
Visit the UK DRI at UCL local website for up-to-date news.
The Duff lab, based at the UK DRI at UCL, is looking for a highly-motivated, experienced and self-driven individual to work on an exciting project that aims to examine the mechanisms underlying tau pathogenesis in Alzheimer's and FTD. You will apply novel, sophisticated in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo approaches to track and examine the role of tau in disease cases in human and mouse models and cell model systems. In addition, you will explore the mechanisms by which tau aggregates spread through the brain, and ways to prevent spread, to generate an understanding of how best to create disease-relevant assays. The successful candidate will hold, or be close to obtaining, a PhD in biological science. Experience in molecular/cellular neurobiology, especially of the pathogenic processes underlying Alzheimer's and Frontotemporal dementia linked to tau, developing and implementing high resolution, single cell or molecule techniques for assessing tau and related proteins in human, mouse and/or cell samples, and working with human derived samples is essential. A proven level of technical skill in assessing tau or other disease associated proteins, and abilities in assessment of ultra low levels of proteins, immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence, biochemical and molecular biology techniques, excellent oral and written communication and inter-personal skills, and a commitment to working ethically, legally and with integrity are also required. Ref: 1857706, Closing date: 26 JanuaryApply to centre
The UK DRI at UCL are looking for a highly motivated and qualified Research Fellow to join the Bartels lab which is specialised and fills the gap for scientific research on synuclein misfolding and lipidomics associated with PD. Tim Bartels first discovered disease-resistant forms of the á-synuclein protein and their destabilisation in Parkinson’s Disease and the Bartels lab is dedicated to understanding the biochemical nature of á-synuclein in healthy and diseased patients. The lab is interested in identifying the different factors that destabilise á-synuclein and that lead to neurotoxicity. Your research project will comprise the analysis of various cell culture models including iPSC-derived and primary human neurons, human post mortem brain material as well as structural in vitro assays using recombinant protein. The native brain tissue and the in vitro models will be used to study pathological á-synuclein aggregates. In vitro aggregation assays, electron microscopy, CD spectroscopy and other biophysical and biochemical assays will be used to characterise aggregates. The successful candidate will have a PhD or MD or have equivalent experience in Biophysics/Biochemistry/Molecular Biology or a related discipline. Experience of working with in vitro aggregation assays and with structural characterisation of proteins is desirable. Ref: 1857659, Closed date: 13 MarchApply to centre
The Duff lab, based at the UK DRI at UCL, is looking for a highly-motivated, experienced and self-driven individual to work on an exciting project that aims to develop novel, sophisticated in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo models to quantify tau and other disease associated aggregate proteins. In addition, the project aims to monitor pathways such as those impacting aggregate clearance. The longer term goal of this part of the project is to establish a drug discovery programme to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative disease. You will explore the mechanisms by which tau aggregates spread through the brain, and ways to prevent spread, to generate an understanding of how best to create disease-relevant assays. The successful candidate will hold, or be close to obtaining, a PhD in biological science. Experience in molecular/cellular neurobiology, especially of the pathogenic processes underlying Alzheimer's and Frontotemporal dementia linked to tau, developing and implementing cell-based models and assays suitable for compound/biologic agent/siRNA library screening, and cell-based phenotypic screening with imaging and molecular endpoints is essential. Knowledge of data quality control, data analyses using appropriate software tools, and data interpretation, a proven level of technical skill in assessing tau or other disease associated proteins, excellent oral and written communication and inter-personal skills, and a commitment to working ethically, legally and with integrity are also required. Ref: 1857708, Closing date: 27 JanuaryApply to centre
The De Strooper lab, based in the UK DRI at UCL, is now seeking an experienced Software Engineer to manage the large and complex datasets generated by researchers in the lab. This will include designing and implementing data storage systems, developing ways to handle and guide dataflow, producing data processing solutions for large volumes of data and integrating heterogeneous data sources. You’ll have knowledge of software development best practise and substantial experience of programming, including the ability to learn new programming languages as required. You’ll be confident working with HPC and cloud computing platforms and will have experience of Linux system administration, strong problem-solving abilities, a good understanding of the mission of the UK DRI and great interpersonal and relationship building skills in a research context. Knowledge of or interest in bioinformatics, genomics or transcriptomics would be desirable, as would a working knowledge of statistics and the R language. Ref: 1857267, Closing date: 9 FebruaryApply to centre
The UK DRI at UCL is looking for an exceptional individual to join Dr Marc Busche's lab (buschelab.com), to head an industry-funded (Eisai) research project focused at uncovering the long-term effects of Alzheimer's Disease pathology on neuronal circuit and vascular functions in the intact brain in vivo and, through the use of mouse models, determining whether pathophysiology is reversible. The project will involve recording neuronal activity and vascular dynamics using head-mounted miniscopes and/or fibre photometry in freely behaving mouse models, manipulating circuits with opto- or chemogenetics, and integration of these techniques with behavioural testing and a variety of sophisticated interventions. The successful candidate will hold a PhD or equivalent in Neuroscience or a neuroscience-related or quantitative discipline (eg, physics, applied mathematics, engineering, bioinformatics). Experience in in vivo calcium imaging and/or electrophysiology and optogenetics, working with live mice, and with fibre photometry or miniscope imaging in freely behaving animals is essential. A strong statistical analysis background and programming and coding ability, excellent oral and written communication and inter-personal skills, and a commitment to working ethically, legally and with integrity are also required. Ref: 1857038, Closing date: 7 FebruaryApply to centre
The Wiseman research group at the UK DRI at UCL are looking for a PhD student to join an Alzheimer’s Society funded project to understand how Alzheimer’s disease associated neuroinflammation is altered in Down Syndrome. This is a fully funded PhD studentship commencing 28 September 2020. You will build hypotheses, design experiments and generate and analyse data to understand the early development of dementia in people with Down Syndrome, with a specific focus on neuroinflammation and changes to microglial biology; using both animal models and studies using human post-mortem brain material. You’ll interact and collaborate with other members of the Wiseman research group, the UK DRI and the wider national and international research communities to facilitate research breakthroughs in the areas of Trisomy21 and Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, you will benefit from the advice and support of Alzheimer’s Society Network volunteers. We are looking for a creative and proactive thinker who has an interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms that cause dementia in the context of Down syndrome. An interest in neuroscience and an undergraduate degree in the Life Sciences (2.1 or above) are required. Closing date: 7 FebruaryApply to centre
The UK DRI at UCL are looking to appoint a new Group Leader (Senior/Principal Fellow), who will lead an internationally competitive research programme, relevant to the area of neurodegeneration, with the ultimate aim of improving human health. You will receive extensive support from the UK DRI, including up to £1.5 million start-up funding over a five-year period, appointment based on the MRC tenure-track route, access to shared equipment and technology across a national institute and membership of a community of world-leading scientists. You are also entitled to the full range of UCL staff benefits and development opportunities. You will have substantial postdoctoral experience, a proven track record of internationally competitive scientific research relevant to the UK DRI and a commitment to, appreciation and understanding of the mission of the UK DRI. You’ll be experienced in planning and developing projects or programmes of research and have a wide knowledge of techniques and methodologies related to research in neurodegeneration. You’ll propose an exciting and innovative programme of research that demonstrably interfaces and compliments the UK DRI’s current portfolio and science strategy, and evidence that you have the potential to lead, inspire and develop a research group into an excellent team. Rolling deadline.Apply to centre