Becoming reality: The future of dementia research is taking shape
From the April/May 2018 issue of Dementia together magazine, Tim Shakespeare, in our research team, explains the impact of the UK Dementia Research Institute.
The announcement of the UK Dementia Research Institute's launch in 2016 was ground-breaking - a £250 million project bringing international expertise together to fight dementia and improve the lives of people affected by the condition.
Headquartered at UCL in London, the institute includes five other centres at Imperial College London, King's College London, and the universities of Cambridge, Cardiff and Edinburgh. Founding a world-leading research institute takes time, and it's been exciting to hear about new laboratories, equipment and researchers across the six sites.
In Edinburgh, scientists moved into dedicated labs to investigate how brain cells, the immune system and the brain's blood supply interact. The new facilities will benefit many researchers, including those funded by others - the more collaboration, the more knowledge sharing and the sooner we can identify new treatments and the best care.
'The institute is set to make a huge impact in coming years.'
My teammates brimmed with enthusiasm after returning from the Cambridge centre. They saw one of our key ambitions - attracting scientists at the forefront of their fields to focus their efforts on dementia - becoming a reality.
Visiting Cardiff, we heard from 11 researchers looking into the role that our immune system may play in the development of dementia from different angles, working together to speed up progress.
I've only described a fraction of what's happening - there are 28 research programmes starting already and we're expecting this to grow to 50. The institute is set to make a huge impact in coming years - watch this space!
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