Care and Cure Magazine - Winter 2017

4. Out of the lab

Out of the lab

They spend their working days striving to find better treatments for dementia or improve care, but many of our researchers are also giving up their precious free time to support us.

Pedalling to Paris

Five University of Exeter researchers cycled an astonishing 350 miles from London to Paris to raise money for Alzheimer's Society. The team comprised Andy Randall, lead of our Exeter Doctoral Training Centre, Society fellow Francesco Tamagnini, geneticists Jonathan Mill and Eilis Hannon, and stem cell researcher Talitha Kerrigan.

They had to deal with torrential rain, extreme pain and sheer exhaustion, but made it to the French capital in one piece. They raised an amazing £11,500 as a reward for their efforts.

Dr Tamagnini said, 'I have never done anything so hard. I have met new friends and I have consolidated the bond with the rest of the Exeter crew. I realised I love cycling. And I realised, spending four days and suffering with these guys. Now I know that I will probably have to ride for a lot of miles in the path of scientific research, with my colleagues and friends, to finally find a solution and defeat this dragon. And I know we can make it.'

Their dedication did not go unnoticed. Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Society, said, 'We are delighted that the team from the University of Exeter have succeeded in completing their gruelling challenge.

Not only have they already raised a huge amount of money but they are also doing fantastic research to help us understand, treat and ultimately cure dementia.'

Welcoming Memory Walkers

If you went to this year's Memory Walks in Nottingham, Exeter, Liverpool, Cheltenham or Brighton you may have been lucky enough to bump into some of our researchers. Equipped with special T-shirts, 'Ask me about my research' signs and even models of brains, the researchers braved the rain, cold and a large number of dogs to chat to walkers about the work they're doing.

Attending Memory Walks is always emotional for our researchers, who have the chance to connect with supporters and show people how the work they do is making a difference to people affected by dementia.

Professor Louise Serpell, lead of the Alzheimer's Society Doctoral Training Centre in Sussex, attended the Brighton walk with several other researchers. 'It was very moving to see people walking for their relatives,' she said.

Professor Jerry Turnbull, an Alzheimer's Society grant holder from the University of Liverpool, took part in the city's walk. He said, 'This funding is vital for the development of new treatments and it's fantastic to see the support from so many people at Memory Walk.'

Join thousands of people walking to defeat dementia at Memory Walk 2018. Sign up today at or call 0300 330 5452 and start fundraising today.

We are incredibly grateful to all our researchers for the amazing work they do. We are continually impressed by their amazing efforts to raise money for us and their dedication to help people affected by dementia.'

- the Research team