UK DRI fellow at UCL, Dr Marc Aurel Busche, has been named as a recipient of a new fellowship scheme run by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The £900 million Future Leaders Fellowship scheme awards rising stars in research and innovation with funds to tackle global challenges. The first wave of fellows will investigate a diverse range of areas from the effects of poverty on child development to climate change and next generation mobile networks, with the time, freedom and encouragement to cross boundaries and disciplines in pursuit of excellence. The Fellows are also encouraged to pursue interdisciplinary and business-linked activities.
Marc, who joined the UK DRI in Autumn 2018, will use funds from this award to investigate the cellular and circuit mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, a fatal neurodegenerative condition with a massive societal impact. In recent years, significant advances have been made in uncovering the molecular changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, in order to effectively treat and prevent the disease, an outstanding challenge is to understand how these molecular changes lead to disruption in cell processes and circuits within the brain affecting memory and cognition.
To help fill this knowledge gap, Marc will leverage his expertise in ultrasensitive brain imaging approaches, including multiphoton microscopy, to determine when and how impairments of single cells and large-scale circuits arise in the Alzheimer’s disease-affected brain, and how they might be corrected. He will focus on looking at how the two major proteins associated with the condition, amyloid and tau, work together to impair brain function, and identify approaches to block that interaction. The aim of this project is to dramatically advance knowledge of the cellular and circuit alterations underlying cognitive decline and could lead to novel insights into how diseased brain circuits can be repaired for the effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
The scheme is open to early career researchers in any field of research and innovation across UKRI’s remit. They can come from anywhere in the world to work at a UK institution or business. UKRI will provide approximately £900 million in support over six competition rounds over three years, typically awarding around 200 new fellows each year.
UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:
“The Future Leaders Fellowships offer long-term support for the most talented researchers and innovators. Fellows will be encouraged to be adventurous in tackling tough and important research questions and opportunities for innovation.
The Fellowships offer opportunities to move across disciplinary boundaries and between academia and industry. These Fellowships will enable us to grow the strong supply of talented individuals needed to ensure that UK research and innovation continues to be world leading.”