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Prof Bart De Strooper is to step down as Director of the UK DRI

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After six years as Director of the UK DRI, Prof Bart De Strooper is stepping down to focus on his research.

Prof De Strooper has led the UK DRI since it was established in 2016, during which it has become internationally renowned for its expertise across biomedical, care and translational dementia research.

Under Prof De Strooper’s leadership, the UK DRI has established seven major research centres, recruited 60+ Group Leaders, and built a community of 800+ researchers and many external partners. The UK DRI has already made many important contributions to the field, making it one of the most cited research institutes in the field.

I am immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last six years at the UK DRI and feel very privileged to have worked with so many talented people right across the Institute from our researchers and technicians, to those in the HQ team. Prof Bart De Strooper

Prof De Strooper will return full time to his lab within the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology to continue his world-leading work on understanding the fundamental mechanisms that underlie Alzheimer’s disease

The UK DRI and UCL are delighted that Prof De Strooper and his lab will continue to work within the Institute structure.

Dr Michael Spence, UCL President & Provost, said:

“UCL was selected as the hub of the UK DRI and the location for its national headquarters because of our world-leading strength in clinical and basic neuroscience. Under Bart’s leadership the UK DRI has become a powerhouse of original and ground-breaking research that is transforming our understanding of dementia.

Bart has been instrumental in driving the Institute’s scientific breakthroughs across disciplines and borders, which has brought us closer to making dementia a thing of the past.”

The UK DRI’s Centre Directors, Group Leaders and HQ staff have seen first-hand Bart’s energy, science vision and passion. He has pushed us all to be more ambitious, more creative and more collaborative and will leave a terrific legacy as our first Director. Dr Adrian Ivinson, UK DRI Chief Operating Officer

Prof De Strooper, said

“I am immensely proud of what we have achieved over the last six years at UK DRI and feel very privileged to have worked with so many talented people right across the Institute from our researchers and technicians, to those in the HQ team.

It wasn’t an easy decision to stand down as Director but having taken the Institute to this point and received such an excellent outcome through the international peer review of our work (through the quinquennial review process), it feels like the right time to hand over to someone new for the next phase of the UK DRI. We are at an important moment in dementia research, and I am excited to return full time to my lab and to do so as part of the UK DRI.

Momentum is building towards some very exciting discoveries across the neurodegenerative science field to fill the crucial knowledge gap that currently exists that will enable us to find treatments and deliver care for those living with dementia. I am confident that the UK DRI will continue to grow from strength to strength, and that there is lots of exciting science happening that will revolutionise our understanding of dementia”

William Rucker, Chair of the UK DRI, said:

“On behalf of all the DRI Trustees I would like to thank Bart for his outstanding leadership in taking the DRI from a start-up six years ago to one of the world’s leading dementia research institutes. The scientific advancements in dementia research are developing at pace and give real hope that effective treatments will be seen in the coming years. The UK DRI has been at the heart of the work that is being done internationally and will continue to operate there in the future”

Under Bart’s leadership the UK DRI has become a powerhouse of original and ground-breaking research that is transforming our understanding of dementia. Dr Michael Spence, UCL President & Provost

Prof John Iredale, MRC Executive Chair said:

“As one of the founders of UKDRI our vision in 2016 was for UKDRI to not only transform the dementia research landscape to offer more hope to those living with dementia but to create a national asset, firmly securing the UK’s reputation as a leader in research and development and driving international connectivity. We are immensely proud of the achievements and impact of the Institute to date and are especially grateful to Professor De Strooper for bringing this vision to life.”

Dr Adrian Ivinson, UK DRI Chief Operating Officer said:

“The UK DRI’s Centre Directors, Group Leaders and HQ staff have seen first-hand Bart’s energy, science vision and passion. He has pushed us all to be more ambitious, more creative and more collaborative and will leave a terrific legacy as our first Director. We all look forward to working with him in the coming months as we open the search for his successor, and to support his research going forward.”

The UK DRI will conduct an international search to find a new Director. Prof De Strooper will continue in his current role until his successor is in place.



Article published: 16 November 2022

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