UK DRI: Connectome 2019

The annual retreat for UK DRI researchers from across all centres to meet, share research and challenge ideas.

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Welcome to our 2019 retreat to bring all UK DRI researchers together! 

UK DRI welcomes its researchers to join Connectome 2019 at the VOX Conference Centre in Birmingham. After the success of last year's conference, Connectome 2019 is expected to almost double in size. We'll have two jam-packed days of scientific talks, posters and themed workshops.



Thursday 3 October

10.00 / Registration

10.30 / Welcome • Bart De Strooper and Adrian Ivinson • UK DRI

10.45 / Keynote • Don Cleveland • University California, San Diego

11.30 / Break

11.50 / Vincent Dion • UK DRI at Cardiff • Gene editing at expanded CAG/CTG repeats: making a long story short

12.10 / Daniel Jutzi • UK DRI at Kings • Bipartite snRNA interactions at the core of FUS' roles in splicing and neurodegeneration

12.30 / Tommaso Vannocci • UK DRI at Kings • New methodologies to understand the time dimension of oxidative stress

12.50 / Josef Priller • UK DRI at Edinburgh • Heterogeneity of human microglia in health and disease

13.10 / Soyon Hong • UK DRI at UCL • More than bystanders in dementia—understanding what microglia do

13.30 Lunch

14.30 / Keynote • Dave Sharp • UK DRI at CRT at Imperial

15.00 / Payam Barnaghi • UK DRI at CRT at Imperial • Machine learning and connected sensors for dementia care

15.20 / Viola Volpato • UK DRI at Cardiff • The first human single cell atlas of the Substantia nigra reveals cell-type specific pathways associated with the genetic risks of Parkinson’s and other diseases

15.40 / Nathan Skene • UK DRI at Imperial • Genetic identification of cell types underlying brain disorders and cognitive traits

16.00 Break

16.30 / Keynote • Karen Duff • UK DRI at UCL

17.00 / Poster Blitz 1

17.30 / Poster Social

19:00 / Room Check-In

19:30 / Reception & Dinner

Friday 4 October

from 6.30 / Hotel breakfast & check-out

8.30 / Keynote • Nick Fox • UK DRI at UCL

9.15 / Poster Blitz 2

9.45 / Poster Social

11.15 / Theme Breakouts (click here for a breakdown of each topic)

  1. Neuroinflammation • with Hugh Perry (UK DRI)
  2. Vascular role in NDG • with Joanna Wardlaw (UK DRI at Edinburgh)
  3. Genetic Therapies • with Chris Shaw (UK DRI at Kings) & Nick Fox (UK DRI at UCL)
  4. Multiomics Brain Atlas • with Paul Matthews (UK DRI at Imperial)
  5. Bioinformatics • with Caleb Webber & Valentia Escott-Price (UK DRI at Cardiff)
  6. Animal Models • with Frances Wiseman (UK DRI at UCL) & Maksym Kopanitsa (UK DRI at Imperial)
  7. Centre Managers • with UK DRI HQ

12.45 Lunch

13.45 / David Rubinsztein • UK DRI at Cambridge • Nutrient regulation of autophagy

14.05 / Yu Ye • UK DRI at Imperial • Untangling dementia with the proteasome system

14.25 / Heather Smith • UK DRI at Cambridge • The astrocytic unfolded protein response causes non-cell autonomous neuronal degeneration

14.45 / Break

15.15 / Joanna Wardlaw • UK DRI at Edinburgh • Cerebral small vessel disease is a relapsing and remitting neurodegenerative disorder

15.35 / The Director’s Annual Science Address • Bart De Strooper

16.15 / What’s next with Bart De Strooper and Adrian Ivinson • UK DRI

80s Disco Dinner at Connectome

Fancy dress encouraged!

Neon lights, leg warmers, sequins, and shoulder pads – Thursday night’s (Oct 3rd) dinner programme will feature a menu of curated street food and classic 80s disco hits. Come dressed in your best 80s disco inspired outfit. There will be plenty of time to make meaningful connections and flashdance the night away.

FAQs & Useful Information

Choosing a Theme Breakout Session

When registering with Eventbrite you will be asked to choose a theme breakout session. Since these sessions happen simultaneously, you can unfortunately only attend one. A quick breakdown of each topic can be found at the following link:

Arriving at VOX

The VOX Conference Centre is a short walk from Birmingham International train station. From the station, please follow the signs for "Resorts World". More information can be found at the VOX Conference Centre website.

Parking at VOX

Thank you for those who have already gotten in touch regarding Parking spaces at Connectome. We can confirm that free parking is available for those who wish to drive. This will be located at the East 5 Carpark, which will be signposted ‘E5’. Please remember to bring the car parking ticket with you as you will need to get this validated before leaving. We ask that you do not use any other car park, as we will be unable to validate your ticket. The E5 carpark is less than a 5-minute walk to The Vox Conference Centre. You can view a detailed map of the area at the following link: If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Hotel rooms/ Reservations

Each delegate will be assigned a room in either the Genting Hotel or the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. Information regarding room allocation will be emailed to you closer to the date of the conference. Since check-in will not be until later in the day, we ask that you please bring your luggage with you to registration where we will securely store it. If you have any special requirements please get in touch with your Centre Manager or email the UK DRI HQ team at

Food and Drink

Lunch, dinner, and drinks will be provided by the venue. Breakfast will be served by each respective hotel. If you have any allergies or dietary requirements, please let us know when registering for the event. Alternatively, you can email the UK DRI HQ team at

Making Changes to Your Ticket

If you need to make any changes to your ticket (adjust your breakout theme or modify your dietary requirements), please get in touch with the HQ team at