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Why some proteins go astray in dementia: in conversation with Dr Sarah Mizielinska

​When looking at a brain from an individual with dementia, a characteristic build-up of abnormal proteins is often seen alongside the substantial loss of neurons. These aggregations are of great interest to researchers, but could their location also offer clues as to the underlying causes of disease and, critically, opportunities for treatment? We caught up with Dr Sarah Mizielinska​ (UK DRI Group Leader at King’s) to find out more about her cutting-edge research into the mislocalisation of proteins, the importance of a multidisciplinary approach and her experiences starting a new family and lab group in academia.

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Announcing the third round of Eisai and UK DRI Industry awards

The UK DRI and Eisai are excited to announce the recipients of the Eisai / UK DRI postdoctoral research awards from the latest selection round. These awards allow postdoctoral scientists to collaborate on projects with Eisai, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies. The projects from previous rounds are underway and are already benefitting from the expertise of this industrial partner.

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‘Biomarker Factory’ launched to find new ways to detect and monitor neurodegenerative disease

We know that often in neurodegenerative conditions, changes to the brain begin decades before symptoms appear. Many believe therefore that we stand a better chance of slowing or stopping the disease process, if we intervene with treatments at the earliest stages. But how do we detect these subtle biological changes, and identify those who are at most risk of developing disease?

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A fond farewell to Cambridge Centre Director Prof Giovanna Mallucci

The UK DRI is bidding a fond farewell to colleague and friend Prof Giovanna Mallucci, who will be moving on from the Institute in March 2022. As founding Centre Director at Cambridge, Prof Mallucci has established an outstanding research facility focused on unravelling the earliest stages of neurodegeneration and driving the search for new dementia therapies.

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Global dementia cases forecasted to triple by 2050

The Global Burden of Disease study, which provides forecasts for 204 countries, estimates that the number of adults (aged 40+) living with dementia is expected to increase from approximately 57 million in 2019 to 153 million in 2050. The new analysis examines the impact of major dementia risk factors on projections, and urges significant intervention through lifestyle changes, expanded health and social care resources and investment in research to find much-needed treatments.

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Brain mechanics: In conversation with DNA repair expert Gabriel Balmus

With us from early development, our neurons are some of the most precious cells in the body. We ask a lot of them throughout our lives, and it’s no surprise that they need some care and attention to maintain peak performance. DNA repair mechanisms are on hand to service our cells but what happens if they start to go wrong? We caught up with researcher and theme co-lead Dr Gabriel Balmus, to find out more about how disrupted DNA maintenance contributes to neurodegenerative disease and his work targeting therapies at this most fundamental of cell functions.

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Pioneering geneticist Prof John Hardy receives knighthood in New Year Honours 2022

Congratulations to Prof John Hardy (UK DRI Group Leader at UCL) who has been awarded a knighthood as part of the New Year Honours 2022. Prof Hardy’s groundbreaking studies on the genetics underlying Alzheimer’s has brought us closer to understanding the root causes of the disease, forming the foundations for many promising therapies currently in development.

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Comment: European Medicines Agency recommends licence refusal for Alzheimer's drug aducanumab

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has today recommended that the Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab (aduhelm) not be licensed for use in the European Union. Read a comment on the decision from UK DRI Director Bart De Strooper.

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Winners announced for UK DRI’s first 'Prize for Computational Reproducibility in Dementia Research'

We are delighted to announce that PhD students Kitty Murphy and Brian Schilder, both from UK DRI at Imperial, have been awarded the Institute’s first computational reproducibility prizes. The scheme is designed to promote the development and open release of sustainable and reproducible code as part of dementia research output.

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Pioneering company launches to advance neurodegenerative gene therapy platform for people living with Frontotemporal dementia, following multi-million-pound investment

A new spin-out company from the UK DRI at King’s College London has raised $80 million (£58.6 million) in its Series A round, following an initial $16.5 million (£12 million) seed financing, to develop innovative gene therapies for people living with neurodegenerative diseases. If successful, treatments could permanently correct faulty genes potentially transforming the lives of individuals affected.

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Seven UK DRI researchers feature on Highly Cited Researcher 2021 list

We are proud to announce that seven UK DRI researchers have featured in this year’s Highly Cited Researcher 2021 list from Clarivate. The annual ranking identifies researchers who have demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade.

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Making it brain at the UK DRI’s first student webinar

Over two afternoons during this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month, the UK DRI hosted its first mini-conference designed specifically for secondary school students interested in neuroscience careers and research. PhD Student, Sophie Sanford (UK DRI at Cambridge) discusses her motivations for organising the event, a review of the sessions and the impact for student attendees.

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Two UK DRI researchers shortlisted for the 2021 MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Award

PhD students Catherine Heffner and Imogen Swift from UK DRI at UCL, have been recognised in this year’s MRC Max Perutz Writing Award, an initiative designed to encourage outstanding science communication among early career researchers.

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Study suggests new approaches may be needed for treating the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease

A team of Cambridge researchers led by UK DRI Group Leader Prof Sir David Klenerman has shown that the accumulation of toxic brain proteins in the mid-late stages of Alzheimer’s, is driven by local replication of the proteins rather than by their spreading between brain regions. The important findings suggest that the disease mechanisms that should be therapeutically targeted may differ at each stage of the disease.

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Connectome 2021: fresh perspectives at the annual UK DRI gathering

Now in its fourth year, the annual internal conference from the UK DRI, Connectome, brought together the 650+ research community, providing a fantastic opportunity to catch up with faces, initiatives, and research at the Institute.

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Government Spending Review: support for innovation, but missing the promised Dementia Moonshot

The Government’s Spending Review concluded today [27 Oct], when the Chancellor announced his spending plans until 2024-25 in the House of Commons.

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Lab-grown brain organoids hint at potential treatment options for motor neurone disease and frontotemporal dementia

Researchers from the University of Cambridge, including UK DRI Group Leader Dr Gabriel Balmus, have investigated the earliest stages of the neurological conditions amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). They used a novel human organoid (mini brain) model that has been developed in the laboratory of Dr Andras Lakatos (Department of Clinical Neurosciences), which may help to better understand the underlying disease biology and will serve as a powerful tool for screening drugs to prevent or slow disease progression in the future.

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Celebrating Black History Month at the UK DRI

To mark Black History Month this October, the UK DRI community is celebrating the contributions and achievements of scientists with African and Caribbean heritage.

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Shared genetic risk factor identified between Covid-19 and Alzheimer’s disease

A team of researchers from UK DRI at UCL have identified an anti-viral gene that impacts the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and severe Covid-19. The findings, published today (7 Oct) in Brain, could open the door for new targets for drug development or tracking disease progression in either disease, with the possibility of shared treatments

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Digging deep into data: early career researchers take on challenge of dementia

This World Alzheimer’s Month, early career researchers from across the UK and beyond have been hard at work harnessing data science and AI to solve real life problems in dementia and health research. Data Study Groups are ‘collaborative hackathon’ style events organised by The Alan Turing Institute, and the September 2021 event featured dementia challenges set by the UK DRI in collaboration with the DEMON Network. We found out more about the projects these data scientists embarked upon and the innovative solutions they have uncovered.

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Latest tweets from @UKDRI

RT @dr_menzies: Are you interested in a PhD in small molecule anti-compliment drug development? How about this one with Dr Zelek, Prof Morg…
23 May 2022 20:39

#ICYMI: Researchers led by Prof @isaacs_adrian (UK DRI at UCL) have developed a biomarker to track the success of t… https://t.co/ir92qxqfWE
23 May 2022 16:03