Edinburgh dementia experts join £250m initiative

Thursday, 20 April, 2017

The University of Edinburgh is joining with five other institutions to form the UK Dementia Research Intitute (UK DRI), along with charity partners Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK.

The UK DRI , a £250 million initiative, has been established in response to the Government’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia. Its mission is to find new ways of diagnosing and treating dementias –  include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.

The UK DRI is led by the Medical Research Council and will have its headquarters at University College London, and its five centres will be located at the University of Edinburgh, University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, Imperial College London, and King's College London.

The UK DRI at University of Edinburgh will consist of five programmes of research led by:

Professor Giles Hardingham said: “The UK DRI will enable us to join forces to accelerate research into neurodegenerative diseases leading to dementia. Our responsibility to dementia patients and their families, both current and future, is to use this opportunity to find new ways to prevent or slow progression of this devastating group of diseases.”

Professor Bart De Strooper, Director of the UK DRI, said: “The shared vision between the centres will be at the heart of the DRI’s success, and this creativity at the borders will lead us to truly understand dementias and how they progress. We selected the centres based on innovative, excellent science, evidence of strong leadership, the alignment of goals with the DRI as a whole, and the ability to grow and collaborate as the institute gathers pace.”

“Edinburgh presented a truly impressive selection of complementary and interactive programmes, and Professor Hardingham’s coherent vision for the centre and his plans to recruit talented young scientists was in the true spirit of the DRI.”

Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “Dementia affects millions of people around the world, but through greater understanding we can make significant steps forward to improve lives.