Dr Hong is awarded the prize not only for her contribution to the dementia research field, but also for her dedication to nurturing and mentoring the future generation of scientists. Dr Hong will present her research at ARUK’s annual conference, with an audience of over 500 dementia researchers.
Dr Soyon Hong, Group Leader at the UK DRI at UCL, said:
“My group is looking at the role microglia, a type of immune cell found in our brain. Microglia usually have a protective function, but sometimes they malfunction and confer risk for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. My team are finding ways to target malfunctioning microglia, which may help slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s.
“Receiving this award is an honour and is so encouraging for me and my team who are just starting their careers in dementia research. We hope the discoveries we make in the lab will make a fundamental difference in our understanding of how the brain works. Ultimately, we want to find new drug targets that could be new life-changing treatments for people with dementia.”
Anna-Leigh Brown, a PhD student from the Department of Neuromuscular Diseases, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, will be awarded the Jean Corsan Prize, for the best published scientific paper by a PhD student in the field.
Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are delighted we can continue to support outstanding early career researchers and provide them the recognition they deserve. We look forward to welcoming Dr Hong and Ms Brown to the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2023 to present their findings.
“We must continue to back early career researchers if we are to re-ignite dementia research and deliver life-changing treatments for people living with dementia. Investing in early career researchers now is vital to make sure we have the best dementia research leaders of tomorrow and that we can continue to make research breakthroughs possible.”