Building connections across the dementia research ecosystem

Dementia Research Uk Landscape Screenshot

The UK DRI aims to be a catalyst for discovery dementia research in the UK, unravelling the molecular and cellular mechanisms in the earliest stages of neurodegenerative disease, and laying the groundwork for life changing treatments. But we cannot do this alone.

We benefit from a rich landscape of organisations and networks committed to dementia research, both nationally and internationally. By harnessing each others’ strengths and sharing expertise, we can create a thriving research ecosystem that accelerates progress towards our collective goals.

In addition to our host universities, below are a selection of partners we are proud to be collaborating with:

UK DRI Partners
  • LifeArc

    As experts in translation, the medical research charity LifeArc brings funding, technology transfer and translational science expertise, and access to technology platforms such as diagnostics and antibody development - bridging the challenging gap between lab discoveries made at UK DRI and clinical trials.

    These expertise and services help move research further down the discovery pipeline, making projects less risky and more attractive to future partners, such as pharmaceutical companies, who can take them into clinical trials needed to develop new treatments.


  • Dementia UK Ecosystem (DUKE)

    Established in 2019, Dementia UK Ecosystem (DUKE) brings together major UK dementia research initiatives (Dementias Platform UK, ARUK Drug Discovery Alliance, NIHR Dementia Translational Research Collaboration), major UK dementia funders (Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society, MRC, Wellcome), industry and the Dementia Discovery Fund to create a joined-up community from fundamental science to the clinic.

    Read our Lancet Correspondence on DUKE

    Our approach combines:

    - Setting standards and incentives for sharing resources, reagents, data, approaches, expertise, biosamples and ideas (Culture)

    - Developing initiatives at the basic-clinical interface with appropriate patient involvement to better understand the evolving changes affecting the brain throughout the progression of dementia (Coordination)

    - Providing a unified voice advocating support for research into novel ways of understanding, treating, preventing dementia and care for those living with dementia (Communication)

    Our mission is to work together to transform our understanding of the complex trajectory of dementia and ultimately how to tackle it. We will continue fostering interactions with events to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations that build on existing translational infrastructure and resources.

  • CURE-ND Alliance

    In 2020, the UK DRI, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Paris Brain Institute and Mission Lucidity in Belgium established the alliance ‘Catalysing a United Response in Europe to Neurodegenerative Diseases (CURE-ND)’.

    The alliance have committed to share expertise and present a strong united voice to champion brain research and put an end to historic underfunding of the field in Europe.


  • Dementias Platform UK

    Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) is a public-private partnership funded by the Medical Research Council to revolutionise dementia studies and cohort research through expert technology networks in imaging, stem cell and informatics.

    We see DPUK as a natural partner for the UK DRI in helping us achieve our aim of translating research into the clinic and have partnered with DPUK via our Vascular, Neuroinflammation and Synapse Research Themes. We routinely host joint Thematic meetings with DPUK to identify shared scientific interests and promote active collaboration with our researchers, bridging pre-clinical with translational research.

    DPUK logo

  • Open Targets

    Open Targets is an innovative, public-private partnership (between Bristol Myers Squibb, EMBL-EBI, GSK, Sanofi and Wellcome Sanger Institute) that uses human genetics and genomics data for systematic drug target identification and prioritisation.

    UK DRI researchers can access resources offered by Open Targets through their target validation platform, which integrates public domain data to enable target identification and prioritisation, or the Open Targets Genetics Portal which identifies targets based on GWAS and functional genomics. Open Targets are already working with several UK DRI researchers and are open to develop additional collaborations on experimental projects to generate large datasets with UK DRI researchers, or to strengthen the target validation project.

    Open Targets

  • The Deep Dementia Phenotyping (DEMON) Network​

    The Deep Dementia Phenotyping (DEMON) Network brings together over 1000 academics, clinicians and industry partners as an international network for the application of data science and artificial intelligence to dementia research.

    In 2020, UK DRI partnered with the DEMON Network with the aim of stimulating innovative cross-cutting collaborative research. We have held a bi-monthly UK DRI-DEMON Network joint seminar series since October 2020, and Drs Sarah Marzi and Nathan Skene lead two DEMON working groups.

    Demon Network

  • The Alan Turing Institute

    The Alan Turing Institute (Turing) is the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence (AI), committed to advancing world-class data science and AI research.

    We have teamed up with the Turing and the DEMON Network for a themed Data Study Group event, during which multidisciplinary teams brainstorm exploration avenues and run ‘in silico’ experiments on real-world biomedical data. The event presents an ideal opportunity to test a proof-of-concept, enable interdisciplinary knowledge transfer and kickstart future cross-cutting projects for innovative dementia research.

    Alan Turing Institute Logo

  • ARUK Drug Discovery Institutes

    Alzheimer's Research UK (ARUK) Drug Discovery Alliance unites three cutting-edge Drug Discovery Institutes (DDIs) based at Oxford, Cambridge and UCL.

    The DDIs aim to bring together drug discovery experts and academic researchers, such as those in the UK DRI, to develop the most promising biological target proposals through early-phase drug discovery.


  • The Francis Crick Institute

    The Francis Crick Institute (Crick) is a biomedical research institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying human health and disease.

    The lab of the UK DRI Director, Prof Bart De Strooper, has been based at the Crick since 2020. In addition to shared scientific interests and active collaboration with our researchers, the Crick supports digital collaboration tools used by institute. The UK DRI collaborates closely with the Crick to provide training and career development opportunities for our community, including joint Laboratory Leadership courses, in collaboration with EMBO.

    Crick logo

  • MRC Harwell Institute

    The MRC Harwell Institute is a national facility for mouse functional genomics, providing world-class expertise and tools to generate mouse models of human disease, innovate phenotyping and facilitate mouse research.

    The UK DRI Animal Models Programme is led by Dr Frances Wiseman, and based at MRC Harwell. The programme provides our researchers with opportunities to add value to their research by generating new animal models, characterising existing models in new ways (genetically and phenotypically), and providing a central site to facilitate collaborative work and resource sharing.

    MRC Harwell Logo

  • MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU)

    Based in Dundee, Scotland, the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit (MRC PPU) is a world class research institute led by Director, and UK DRI Associate Member, Prof Dario Alessi.

    In 2020, we embarked on a collaboration with MRC PPU to advance proteomics capabilities in dementia research, providing matching funds for cutting-edge technology at the unit. Over the coming years, we will work together to better understand how proteins are impacted in neurodegenerative disease.

    MRC PPU Logo

  • British Neuroscience Association

    The British Neuroscience Association (BNA) is the largest UK organisation representing and promoting neuroscience and neuroscientists.

    In 2021, UK DRI became Festival Partner for the BNA’s Festival of Neuroscience, a bi-ennial 4-day scientific conference and gathering of over 1000 international neuroscientists. The UK DRI also contributes towards the BNA’s Scholar programme, an initiative to support students from under-represented ethnic groups in neuroscience and build a supportive community through networking opportunities, bursaries and mentorship.

    British Neuroscience Association

Data Sharing Policy

The UK DRI is a data-driven institute. We expect our researchers to adopt good research practice and act with integrity and transparency in collecting, managing, sharing and (re)using high quality, scientifically robust data. The UK DRI is committed to open science and strives to:

- Nurture a research environment that makes data open in a timely and responsible manner.
- Recognise the importance of data citation and credit acknowledgement.
- Use transparent, robust and fair processes to make decision concerning data openness.

Our Data Sharing Policy covers the general principles, policy statements and guidelines on the public sharing of UK DRI data, including computer code, with the scientific community and is maintained by the UK DRI Informatics Steering Committee with the approval of the Scientific Strategy and Operational Board.