New centre for dementia research

King’s College London is one of five leading universities announced today to receive funding as part of a new UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI).Allies&Morrison_KingsCollege_NeuroscienceInstitute_Sta¦èle_Eriksen

The UK DRI is a joint £250 million investment into dementia research led by the Medical Research Council (MRC) alongside founding charity partners the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. The locations of the other centres are the University of Cambridge, Cardiff University, the University of Edinburgh and Imperial College London. The centres join University College London (UCL) which was confirmed in December 2016 as the institute’s hub of research activity and operational headquarters.

King’s College London has a long track record of research excellence in dementia and neurodegeneration, from major discoveries in fundamental disease mechanisms through to large-scale clinical trials. The university’s contributions include the discovery of new genes, potential therapeutic targets, imaging and biomarkers, and international leadership in clinical trials.

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Executive Director of King’s Health Partners and Provost/Senior Vice President (Health) at King’s College London, said:

We are delighted to receive funding from the UK Dementia Research Institute to establish a new centre within King’s College London. This new centre will build on King’s College London’s history of research excellence in this area and help us to address important research questions and ultimately benefit patients.

The UK DRI at King’s College London will be based at the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute. The centre will focus initially on dementia and motor neurone disease, using cutting-edge imaging technology to detect signs of disease years before the onset of symptoms, providing vital opportunities for early diagnosis and intervention. Following this initial phase, the centre will draw on King’s strengths in immunology and developmental neuroscience to explore the contribution of brain inflammation to neurodegenerative diseases. 

Established in response to the Government’s 2020 Challenge on Dementia, the UK DRI’s mission is to find new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent and care for people with dementias, a group of neuro-degenerative disorders which include Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease.