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Funding opportunities with our new Science Review Manager, Aoife Kiely

In addition to the research packages awarded to Group Leaders, the UK DRI provides several internal awards designed to promote collaboration, establish institute wide research platforms and encourage innovative pilot studies from early career researchers. Managing all this from UK DRI HQ is new recruit, Dr Aoife Kiely (pronounced ‘ee-fa kylee’). We caught up with Aoife to find out what funds are currently available and ones to look out for in the near future.

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Parkinson’s disease workshop: heterogeneity, inflammation and improved disease modelling

With the UK’s prevalence of Parkinson’s disease (PD) expected to almost double by 2065, the need for breakthroughs in disease-modifying treatments, as with other neurodegenerative disorders, is imperative. On 29 October UK DRI convened over 40 PD experts to London for an interactive workshop, co-hosted with Parkinson’s UK, in order to examine the latest developments and identify initiatives that could transform the field.

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Introducing Blanca Diaz-Castro, UK DRI at Edinburgh: The role of the star-spangled blood-brain-barrier in dementia

The unique expertise at the UK DRI at Edinburgh take a holistic approach to tackling dementia, elucidating the interactions within and between the brain vasculature, neurons, macroglia and microglia which are thought to play a major part in the trajectory of neurodegenerative disorders. The centre’s newest Group Leader Dr Blanca Diaz-Castro, who joins the institute from UCLA, discusses her role in this strategy, the expertise she brings to the centre and her latest publication.

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Cardiff Group Leader among first awardees of global talent Professorships from the Academy of Medical Sciences

Prof Vincent Dion, Group Leader at UK DRI at Cardiff, is among a select group of awardees for the first global talent Professorships from the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS). The new funding and support scheme is designed to attract and retain world-leading scientific talent from across the globe, and support research during the initial years of an individual’s first full professorship.

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Prof Sarah Tabrizi highlights ‘tireless efforts’ of those affected by Huntington’s disease in receiving double award for her research

Group Leader at UK DRI at UCL, Prof Sarah Tabrizi, has been awarded two separate honours for her contribution to Huntington’s disease research. Last month, Prof Tabrizi picked up the Yahr award at the World Congress of Neurology in Dubai, before collecting the Alexander Morison medal from the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) on Tuesday (5 Nov).

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New approach identifies novel risk genes connected to microglia response in Alzheimer’s disease

A new paper​ from the lab of Prof John Hardy, UK DRI at UCL, in collaboration with Prof Valentina Escott-Price, UK DRI at Cardiff, has identified four new risk genes for Alzheimer’s disease, tied to the microglial response to amyloid beta. We sat down with lead author, Dr Dervis Salih, to find out more about the study published in Brain Communications​ and how it contributes to our understanding of dementia.

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Successful transplantation of human microglia paves way for next generation of research models

A new article from the lab of Prof Bart De Strooper in VIB Leuven has outlined a protocol to transplant human microglia into the mouse brain. Published today in Nature Neuroscience, the authors say this development will facilitate studies that more accurately reflect human conditions. We spoke to co-lead author Dr Renzo Mancuso to find out more about the significance and potential of this development.

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Milestone in search for dementia treatment as Biogen files for FDA approval of aducanumab

In exciting news for the dementia field, it has today been announced by Biogen and Eisai that there are plans to pursue US regulatory approval for aducanumab for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease. The news follows new analysis of a larger dataset from Phase III studies that has showed significant slowing of clinical decline.

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Inspirational fundraiser visits UK DRI at Cambridge on journey around the UK

On Thursday 10 October Alzheimer’s Society fundraiser Hannah Mackay visited Dr Gabriel Balmus at UK DRI at Cambridge, to see the pioneering research taking place at the centre. The visit was part of Hannah’s ‘Dementia Journey’ challenge around the UK to raise money for fighting early onset dementia.

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UK DRI responds to announcement that Eli Lilly is ending neuroscience research in the UK

US-based pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly have announced that they will close their research and development centre at Erl Wood in Surrey and move the associated neuroscience research to the US, with 80 potential redundancies.

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Connectome 2019 – Binding minds

With over 300 researchers, students and support staff attending the UK DRI’s annual conference, Connectome 2019 was abuzz with curiosity, ideas and conversation. We take a look at the highlights and photos from the two days in Birmingham.

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Official Centre Opening: Cutting the ribbon at UK DRI at Cambridge

Over 180 researchers, clinicians and students gathered last month (23 September) for the official opening of the UK DRI centre at the University of Cambridge. Led by eminent professor, Giovanna Mallucci, the centre’s focus will be on deciphering why neurons degenerate in dementia and translating that to therapeutics targeting the earliest stages of disease. Attendees at the launch enjoyed talks from the seven Group Leaders at the UK DRI at Cambridge, close collaborator Prof Clemens Kaminski and a guest keynote lecture from Prof Bradley Hyman.

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Dementia Revolution raises £4 million for UK DRI, setting new record for London Marathon Charity of the Year Partnership

Latest fundraising figures reveal that the Dementia Revolution has now raised a record-breaking £4 million for the UK DRI, making it the most successful Charity of the Year partnership in the 39-year history of the London Marathon.

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World Alzheimer’s Month 2019: Prof Bart De Strooper on progress made in the last year

Now in its eighth year, World Alzheimer’s Month is an international campaign to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. For the UK DRI, these 12 months have been marked by significant milestones for both the institute, and crucially the field of neurodegenerative disease and search for viable therapeutics. We catch with UK DRI Director, Prof Bart De Strooper on his highlights in the past year.

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A leap forwards for the future home of UK DRI at UCL

London Borough of Camden’s planning committee approved UCL’s planning application to redevelop the former site of the Eastman Dental Hospital, paving the way for a new world-leading research centre for dementia and neurological disease research. The site will house over 500 researchers from the UK Dementia Research Institute and UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology, all working towards the Government’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia.

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J.K. Rowling donates £15m to UK DRI Group Leader in Edinburgh

The author J.K. Rowling has donated £15.3m to Prof Siddharthan Chandran, Director of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic and UK DRI Group Leader at the University of Edinburgh. The funds will help to improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and similar conditions.

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First visualisation of tau protein tangles in patients’ brains after single head injury

For the first time, researchers led by Prof David Sharp, Associate Director of UK DRI Care Research & Technology at Imperial, have visualised ‘tangles’ of a protein associated with dementia in the brains of people who have suffered a single head injury.

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Early Career Representatives: Cardiff lead the way in collaboration and development

We are delighted to see a group of Cardiff researchers have taken the initiative to organise a range of initiatives aimed specifically at ECRs, and appointed representatives as a conduit for feedback and change in their Centre.

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Q&A with Frances Wiseman: New Programme Leader for Animal Models at UK DRI

With a wealth of experience in utilising animal models, including a 3R prize for reduction of animal use in 2016, Dr Frances Wiseman joins the UK DRI at UCL as new programme leader for animal models. We caught up with Frances to discuss her current research interests, why animal models are still critical to dementia research and how she will be supporting the whole institute in improving resource facilities in this area.

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Associate Director Paul Matthews named as new Chair for the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board

On 1 September, Associate Director at UK DRI at Imperial, Prof Paul Matthews will begin his tenure in the prestigious role of Chair of the MRC Neuroscience and Mental Health Board.

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Latest tweets from @UKDRI

RT @A0ifeKiely: 🎄🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿Busy elves in Cardiff! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿🎅 @UKDRI @dr_menzies @UKDRI_ECR #ElfDay #dementia #science #research
07 Dec 2019 19:02

RT @MTorvell: Feels like longest week in ages but so rewarding! Visited @mike_jd_daniels in Edinburgh for top tips to improve microglial is…
07 Dec 2019 11:31