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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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Ultrasensitive blood test set to transform detection of brain damage and poor prognosis after head injury

A new study led by Prof David Sharp, Centre Director at UK DRI Care Research & Technology, has used a state-of-the-art blood test to track damage to the brain in people who have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI). Measuring the protein biomarker in the blood will provide a simpler, more accurate way to predict clinical outcomes and may help to identify those at higher risk of developing dementia.

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The great wall: targeting the blood-brain barrier in dementia

A growing area of research interest is in the specialised blood vessel network surrounding the brain, the blood-brain barrier, whose dysfunction and breakdown is thought to be one of the earliest events in several neurodegenerative diseases. To build a better understanding and explore opportunities for treatments in this area, Director at the UK DRI’s Centre at the University of Edinburgh, Prof Giles Hardingham is taking an integrated approach, bringing together specialist researchers and clinicians, and answering major questions at the intersection between our nervous, vascular and immune systems.

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Dr Axel Montagne receives SCOR Young European Researcher Prize for research into Alzheimer’s disease

Dr Axel Montagne, Group Leader at UK DRI at Edinburgh, has been awarded this year’s SCOR Young European Researcher Prize from Fondation Recherche Alzheimer based in France. We caught up with Axel to find out more about what receiving the prize means to him, his experiences of joining the UK DRI last year and his research into dysfunction of the blood-brain barrier.

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“We need to get ahead of dementia”: UK DRI Director Bart De Strooper on World Alzheimer’s Day 2021

This World Alzheimer's Day, UK DRI Director Prof Bart De Strooper, reflects on what is needed to get ahead of dementia, developing cutting-edge diagnostics and groundbreaking discovery research to feed the pipeline for new treatments.

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New Race Against Dementia Fellows recognised as UK DRI Emerging Leaders

This World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September), we are delighted to announce two new Emerging Leaders at the UK DRI: Dr Wioleta Zelek (UK DRI at Cardiff) and Dr Aitana Sogorb-Esteve (UK DRI at UCL). Both have been awarded prestigious Race Against Dementia (RAD) Fellowships and join the 11 Emerging Leaders announced earlier in the year.

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UK DRI technology platforms: taking discoveries to the next level

Advances in technology help drive scientific discoveries. To enable researchers to investigate neurodegeneration and dementia in new ways, the UK DRI has established the ‘Proteomics’ and ‘Single Cell and Spatial Transcriptomics’ technology platforms. These provide researchers with access to specialist equipment for studying protein and gene expression patterns at an unprecedented level of detail.

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Researchers identify neuroprotective protein in Parkinson’s disease

In a new study published today (14 Sept) in Cell Reports, researchers have shown that the protein BCL11A plays a neuroprotective role in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease. The team, led by Prof Sandra Blaess from the Institute for Reconstructive Neurology at the University Hospital Bonn, and involving Dr Emmanouil Metzakopian from the UK DRI at Cambridge, believe the finding could open up avenues for new Parkinson’s treatments.

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Next generation sequencing pioneers awarded prestigious Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

Prof Sir David Klenerman, UK DRI Group Leader at Cambridge, and Prof Sir Shankar Balasubramanian have been awarded the 2022 Breakthrough Prize for their development of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The groundbreaking technology significantly reduced the time and cost associated with sequencing a human genome, revolutionising modern research and medicine.

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MRC awards £1.5 million for project examining genes in Alzheimer’s disease

The Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded £1.5 million to fund research into gene expression associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Led by Prof Jonathan Mill (University of Exeter), in collaboration with UK DRI Emerging Leader, Dr Sarah Marzi (UK DRI at Imperial), and researchers from the Universities of Essex and Bristol, the team will investigate changes between different brain cell types, to better understand disease mechanism and uncover new treatment opportunities.

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“Fuelling the Moonshot”: MPs call for ten years of UK DRI funding

The UK DRI welcomes the new Parliamentary report, “Fuelling the Moonshot”, which calls on the Government to confirm funding for the UK DRI for the next ten years. The report makes a case for how the Government’s promised ‘Dementia Moonshot’ funding should be spent to best support research into dementia and neurodegeneration.

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Community Makers: providing online support to communities of people living with dementia

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns had a huge impact around the world, forcing many people into isolation. For those living with dementia and their carers, this was especially difficult as many had relied on in-person community groups to meet up with others. To help those with dementia stay connected at this time, the Community Makers project was established to support groups transitioning online with resources such as technical advice and monthly forums.

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Latest tweets from @UKDRI

💡 Exciting opportunity for a Research Coordinator/Clinical Research Practitioner to join the UK DRI Care Research &… https://t.co/aLfoA4iK9j
07 Jul 2022 16:05

RT @ComplementUK: You don’t want to miss this exciting #workshop! Register 𝗯𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 summer holiday, by 25th 𝗔𝘂𝗴𝘂𝘀𝘁! 👉 https://t.co/iirkqVnbb
07 Jul 2022 15:23