In the first focussed ‘Theme’ event for the UK DRI, early-career researchers (ECRs) from across the network joined together last month (10-11 April 19) to share knowledge and insight on the topic of neuroinflammation (NI) in a 2-day workshop.
At the UK DRI, we have already identified and started to address a number of research areas that will benefit from cross centre collaboration. Each brings multidisciplinary expertise from across UK DRI Centres to explore crucial questions, develop new technologies, explore experimental/therapeutic approaches, and share and make better use of data and analytics. This 2-day workshop, involving over 40 group leaders and ECRs aimed to strengthen interactions and identify suitable ideas for collaborative projects going forward.
Increasing evidence points to neuroinflammation as a key factor contributing to the pathogenesis of dementia. Under the umbrella of the NI Theme, group members build on existing UK DRI expertise to investigate emerging aspects of neurodegeneration involving the role of immune cells and pathways including:
- protein clearance
- the function of complement components
- identification of immune system biomarkers in various patient cohorts
- the diversity of microglia and their role in neurodegeneration
- the interplay between microglia/neurons/astrocytes in health and disease
- the potential to target components of neuroinflammatory pathways to prevent/delay dementia onset and progression