"Gene therapies are increasingly being used in medicine and its possible we could be looking at multiple gene therapies in dementia in the next 10-15 years. The possibilities are out there, we just need to understand what the mechanisms are first." Julie Williams
UK DRI Centre Director
A world leader in the genetics of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and former Chief Scientific Advisor to the Welsh Government, Prof Julie Williams leads the UK DRI as Centre Director at Cardiff. With a background in Psychology, Julie obtained her PhD from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology. She joined University of Wales College of Medicine in 1991 as a Research Assistant, rising to Reader in Neuropsychological Genetics. As a co-lead in global initiatives her group has contributed to the discovery of over 40 susceptibility loci for AD. These findings implicate the role of immunity in disease development and specifically the contribution of microglia. Computational genetics of AD shows it to be a disease of multiple components which together, allow the prediction of those at high risk. Julie’s contribution to the field was recognised with a CBE in 2012. She is also an advocate for women in STEMM, commissioning a report that aimed to address the gender imbalance in science, published in 2016. Julie is also a member of the Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences and their champion in Wales.