Everything begins with an idea. Connectome 2018 is the platform for our researchers to gather, share and debate. And what a buzz it had!
At the end of September 2018, we were excited to bring together 200 UK DRI researchers from around the UK in Reading for the first ever institute conference. Connectome 2018 saw two days packed with scientific presentations, workshops and conversation. Our researchers made the most of this opportunity to connect and drive forward their dementia science.
Key to the success of the UK DRI is drawing in world-leaders to be part a single national institute, so developing close collaboration across our centres is essential. This unique approach is designed to accelerate the pace of research and was evident at Connectome, where existing relationships were strengthened and new connections were developed between researchers.
Plenary speakers described how emerging findings are advancing our understanding of the diseases that cause dementia. From new insights into the role of sleep to detailed investigations of genetic contributions, these talks highlighted how researchers at the UK DRI are taking diverse approaches to unlock new avenues for future prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
These sessions allowed for new ideas to be shared across areas of expertise, and in addition the conference also provided an important opportunity to connect researchers working on specific themes. Researchers who shared a mutual interest we able to come together at fast-developing topic sessions to discuss the latest findings and set a way forward in areas such as inflammation of the brain, maintaining connections between brain cells, and gene therapy. These themes will flourish in the months ahead across the institute as areas of importance.
Just a year after the UK DRI was launched we already have over 250 researchers on board, and this number is growing fast as new recruits join the mission to revolutionise dementia discovery science. The energy and enthusiasm held by UK DRI scientists was clear at Connectome 2018.
Here's to a successful and collaborative year ahead!