UK DRI features in the MRC’s science showcase in Parliament

Professor Sir John Savill W Microscope

The Medical Research Council (MRC), one of our founding funders, held a science showcase in Parliament on 24 January. This preceded the award ceremony of the Millennium Medal to Professor Janet Darbyshire.

The showcase provided the opportunity to raise awareness among parliamentarians and policymakers of the importance of medical research to human health and wellbeing, innovation and economic growth. As dementia is a priority area for the MRC and because the UK DRI is one of their biggest investments, we were proud to have the institute featured in the showcase.

Based in the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons, overlooking The Thames and the London Eye, three fantastic representatives of the UK DRI took part in the event. Here, they tell us about their afternoon.

Shaheen Larrieux

Shaheen has supported the UK DRI in many ways, including being part of the PPI advisory interview panel for our director.

"I was very honoured to be invited by the UK DRI to the Millennium Medal presentation at Parliament. It was a unique opportunity to represent families and tell my story in dementia. My mother has a rare dementia known as Frontotemporal Dementia which affects young people between 40-64. Dementia had a devastating impact not only on my mother as she is so young, but also on our family life and my high flying career. 

"I shared my journey with Lord Oxburgh and Chi Onwurah, Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation. It was a powerful platform to speak with Members of Parliament directly to explain the focus of the UK DRI. I hope in my lifetime we find therapies and treatments for this cruel that slowly steals your life."


Jane Tulloch and Makis Tzioras

Jane (Lab Manager) and Makis (first year PhD student) are from UK DRI at Edinburgh

"We had the opportunity to visit the Parliament in Westminster and share some of our work on dementia. Our audience varied from MPs to fellow scientists of all disciplines, who were keen to find out what we do to tackle dementia. We introduced them to the UK DRI and the significance of collaboration both within and between universities across the UK.

"Moreover, we filmed a short video on the UK DRI and the ways in which research is advancing. To illustrate the detrimental effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the brain, we brought pathology slides and a microscope where the audience had the chance to observe first-hand the changes that occur in ageing and disease. Overall, it was a fantastic way to promote the UK DRI and share our lab objectives."

Jane And Makis

Thank you

We are so grateful to everyone who took part in this important event. Shaheen works tirelessly to promote dementia research and raise awareness of the condition. Jane and Makis work tirelessly to help us understand dementia to find ways to conquer it. And we would also like to thank the MRC for giving us a platform to raise awareness of dementia research and our goals.