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UK DRI and coronavirus – Updated Information

The coronavirus pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge. The situation is rapidly evolving. We will update this page with the latest information relevant to UK DRI activities.

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Coronavirus testing: Robotic platform developed by UK DRI researchers set to significantly increase UK testing capacity

A robotic testing platform developed in just nine days by UK DRI researchers could substantially increase the UK’s capacity to test people for coronavirus.

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Industrious innovators: First Eisai / UK DRI postdoctoral research awards announced

UK DRI and Eisai, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, are delighted to announce the first recipients for the post-doctoral research programme on dementia. This first-of-its-kind industry collaboration for the UK DRI aims to deliver innovative research that translates into improvements in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all types of dementia.

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Comparison of motor neurone disease models suggests key disease mechanism may depend on gene affected

Researchers led by Prof Giampietro Schiavo, UK DRI at UCL, have used two new mouse models of motor neurone disease (MND) to show that early disease mechanisms may differ depending on the causative gene. Deficits in transport along nerve cells preceded symptoms in one but not the other model, suggesting that therapeutics may have to be tailored to individuals according to their genes.

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Artist appointed for new home of UK DRI at UCL

We are delighted to announce that artist Annie Cattrell has been appointed as the public artist for the state-of-the-art research facility which will house over 500 scientists and clinicians from the UK DRI, UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology (IoN) and UCLH’s National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN)​.

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Multiplex model: Genetic breakthroughs help develop new perspective on triggers of Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers led by UK DRI Centre Director Prof Julie Williams at Cardiff, have unveiled a new perspective on the potential triggers and drivers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our growing knowledge of risk genes suggests multiple factors behind the condition, and clues for treatment development.

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Mapping the Alzheimer’s brain: major new project to discover disease mechanisms

A new UK DRI initiative to create an ‘atlas’ of the brain at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease is set to rapidly improve our understanding of the processes that lead to people developing the illness.

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UK DRI Group Leader receives award for research harnessing the immune system to slow neurodegenerative conditions

Dr William McEwan, recently appointed Group Leader at UK DRI at Cambridge, has received the 2019 Lister Institute Research Prize for his work exploring protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases, and exploiting the immune system to develop treatments for these conditions.

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UK DRI at UCL host 2nd European C9orf72 workshop

At the end of January, the lab of Prof Adrian Isaacs hosted the 2nd European C9orf72 workshop on at the UCL Queen Square Institute for Neurology in London. The focus of the meeting was to present novel unpublished data in order to increase collaboration and research impact across Europe.

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We welcome Alzheimer’s Society’s priorities for government ‘Dementia Moonshot’ funding

Following the recent general election pledge by The Conservative Party to double investment in dementia research to find treatments, Alzheimer’s Society have released five key priorities for spending over the next decade including continued investment in the UK DRI.

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Funding boost for UCL neuroscience and new UK DRI hub

A generous £5 million donation has been received from the Garfield Weston Foundation to support the planned development of the new state-of-the-art neuroscience centre at UCL. The building, which will be located on Gray’s Inn Road, will house over 500 researchers from the UK DRI and UCL’s Queen Square Institute of Neurology, all working towards the Government’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia.

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New collaboration will harness latest technology to uncover role of proteins in neurodegenerative disease

A pioneering collaboration between the UK DRI and the Medical Research Council’s Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC-PPU) will use the very latest advances in technology to study rare cell populations and the role of proteins in diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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New report outlines evidence for link between cardiovascular and brain health, and practical tips for reducing risk of dementia

A new report from the Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) confirms that heart and brain health are connected, and that taking action to improve your cardiovascular health reduces the risk of cognitive decline and dementia. The Brain-Heart Connection summarises the strongest research on this topic and offers practical lifestyle tips people can take to protect their heart and brain health. We spoke to Prof Joanna Wardlaw, Group Leader at UK DRI at Edinburgh and expert contributor to the report, about the science and significance of the findings.

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Energising collaboration: First cross-centre postdoctoral research awards announced

We believe that collaboration will be at the heart of future breakthroughs for people affected by dementia. To stimulate productive new academic relationships, we recently launched our cross-centre postdoctoral researcher scheme and are delighted to announce the successful projects which span development of sophisticated new biomarkers to pioneering characterisation of synaptic changes in Alzheimer’s disease.

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Comment: Alzheimer’s trial results prove disappointing but pave way for new thinking

It was today announced that an international trial investigating the potential of two drugs to slow memory loss and cognitive decline has failed to benefit people with a rare, inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers will continue to analyse data and are hopeful that insights gained can inform future clinical trials in this area.

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UK DRI contributes to research breakthrough for leading cause of blindness

UK DRI researcher Professor Paul Morgan has played a key role in a study that has identified a new protein linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The finding could offer new hope for the diagnosis and treatment of the disease, which affects over 1.5 million people in the UK alone.

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Rising stars bolster research into Parkinson's disease at Imperial UK DRI centres

Two new talented Fellows have been enlisted to our UK DRI centres based at Imperial College London, following a generous donation of £1.63 million from Lily Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. Dr Sarah Marzi and Dr Bing Li, will work closely with Prof Paul Matthews, UK DRI at Imperial, and Prof David Sharp, UK DRI Care Research & Technology respectively. Geneviève Timmins, Digital Communications Manager at Imperial College London, sat down with the recruits to find out more about their research into Parkinson's disease.

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iPSC-derived Microglia Workshop: Sharing best practice and new initiatives across the field

As part of our ‘Neuroinflammation Theme’, we held a workshop in December that brought together researchers from across the institute and beyond to share expertise and best practice on the use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived microglia. Delving into topics such as reproducibility, cell line characterisation and microglia phenotype and function, attendees discussed and agreed on actions that would benefit the whole of the field moving forward.

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Building a culture of translation at UK DRI: A Q&A with Director of Innovation & Business, Kay Penicud

We have a clearly defined goal at the UK DRI to develop effective therapeutics and technologies for dementia. Alongside building our disease knowledge over the coming years, we must also make progress in translating these discoveries into the clinic. But what are the practicalities of this? And is translation all about drug discovery?

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UK DRI’s Lived Experience Group: Involving people affected by dementia in our research

We believe our research is strengthened by input from people with lived experience of neurodegenerative diseases.

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Latest tweets from @UKDRI

RT @ImperialBrains: 🧠 In the lead up to #WorldParkinsonsDay, here are four ways @imperialcollege is leading the fight against #Parkinsons:…
08 Apr 2020 09:07

Just over a week to get applications in for postdoc in organic #chemistry/#radiochemistry joining Prof Karen Duff's…
08 Apr 2020 08:28